RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) has banned hunters from bringing whole deer carcasses and certain deer parts from Tennessee back into Virginia. This after the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reported the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) for the first time in their state.
Ten deer from Fayette and Hardeman counties have tested positive, so far.
“Starting on December 21, 2018, deer carcasses shall not be imported into Virginia from anywhere in Tennessee. Prohibiting the entry of whole deer carcasses and certain deer parts into Virginia minimizes the risk of spreading CWD into new areas of the Commonwealth,” a DGIF spokesperson said. “There is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock, or pets; however, DGIF strongly advises against consuming meat from a known CWD-positive animal or from any game animal that appears ill prior to death.”
Under the new rules, the only deer parts that can legally be brought into Virginia from Tennessee include:
Boned-out or quartered meat
Hides or capes with no skull attached
Cleaned skulls or skull plates with no attached tissue (with or without attached antlers)
Finished taxidermy products
“The disease is a slow, progressive neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, and moose in North America. The disease ultimately results in the death of all infected animals,” the DGIF spokesperson continued. “Although infected animals may look completely normal for an extended period of time before becoming ill, symptoms exhibited by CWD-infected animals include, staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss.”