Chronic wasting disease (CWD)

In areas known to contain Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), special checking and handling requirements may be in place. Check your state regulations pamphlets for specific information. In some situations, deer taken within these areas must be brought to a check station for CWD testing; in other areas this testing is voluntary. In addition, most states have regulations governing the transport of deer carcasses outside of known CWD areas. In general, these regulations prohibit transporting the spinal column or brain material outside of specified areas. Only cleaned skull plates and boned out meat may be transported outside of designated areas, or into states from areas know to contain CWD.

The Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website has additional information on processing recommendations and state regulations.

Because, your participants are likely motivated by local sustainable food, these regulations may not be applicable for your hunting class. However, because your students are interested in healthy food, a brief discussion of CWD may be warranted.

Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance reports that currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk for humans. However, public health officials recommend that human exposure to the CWD infectious agent be avoided as they continue to evaluate any potential health risk.

In addition, hunters are encouraged not to consume meat from animals that have tested positive for CWD. The CWD Alliance website contains a list common sense precautions hunters should take when field dressing and processing deer taken in areas where CWD is found.