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Wisconsin modifies carcass movement flexibility in CWD zone

From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

-- Whole deer carcasses and certain restricted parts-brain, spinal cord and lymphoid tissue-can  now be transported out of Wisconsin's chronic wasting disease management zone (CWD-MZ) to other areas of the state if they are taken to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours of registration, under recent modifications to the state's rules designed to contain the spread of CWD.

The reason behind the rule change is that processors and taxidermists must follow strict rules regarding waste disposal and putting potentially CWD-infected carcasses into the appropriate waste stream removes the risk of contamination from improper disposal, notes Davin Lopez, CWD coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.

This rule modification, effective Oct. 1, is also designed to help hunters so they can get their deer processed and mounted closer to home, while still ensuring the responsible disposal of potentially infectious materials, Lopez explained.

Last year, hunters and motorists could only move whole deer carcasses and the restricted parts from the CWD-MZ into other parts of the CWD-MZ and to deer management units (DMUs) adjacent to the CWD-MZ.

Also beginning Oct. 1, Wisconsin has banned the importation of whole cervid carcasses (deer, elk and moose) and that certain restricted parts into the state from the entirety of all states and Canadian provinces that have CWD unless those whole carcasses and restricted parts are also taken to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours of entry into Wisconsin. The disease has been discovered in wild deer or elk herds in 13 states and two provinces.

Last year, hunters were only restricted from transporting whole carcasses and restricted parts from areas of states and provinces that have found CWD. This change will eliminate confusion for hunters about whether or not the restrictions apply to the specific area they hunt and simplify enforcement.

The original rules, approved last year, aim to help stop the spread of CWD into areas of the state where the disease does not occur, said Lopez.

The CWD-MZ encompasses all or parts of DMUs in Adams, Crawford, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Lafayette, Marquette, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Vernon, Walworth and Waukesha Counties. See the 2010 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations for a detailed map of the CWD-MZ.

There are a number of parts from legally possessed deer to which the restriction doesn't apply that can be legally transported anywhere in Wisconsin. These include meat that's cut and wrapped, either commercially or privately; quarters or other portions of meat to which no part of the spinal column is attached; deboned meat; hides with no head attached; finished taxidermy heads; antlers with no meat or brain tissue attached; skulls with attached antlers, but no meat or brain tissue attached; and upper canine teeth.

Chronic wasting disease is a 100 percent fatal nervous system disease known to naturally infect white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and elk. Studies of Wisconsin wild deer and data from Colorado and Wyoming show that without control efforts, CWD prevalence can reach high levels, spread geographically, and may shorten deer life spans, as shown in the significant populations declines observed in Colorado.

2010 Season Structure in the CWD-MZ

* Archery season: Sept. 18 to  Jan. 9, 2011 (Earn-a-buck)
* Youth Gun Deer Hunt: Oct. 9 to 10 (one buck plus antlerless deer per unused antlerless deer carcass tag)
* Antlerless only, bow and  gun: Oct. 14 to 17
* Traditional nine-day firearm season: Nov. 20 to 28 (Earn-a-buck)
* Muzzleloader: Nov. 29- to Dec. 8 (Earn-a buck)
* Late Antlerless only bow and  gun hunt: Dec. 9 to 12
* Holiday firearm season: Dec. 24 to Jan. 9, 2011 (Earn-a-buck)[

For more information, contact Davin Lopez, CWD Coordinator,  Madison at (608)267-2948 or Greg Matthews, Regional PA Manager, Fitchburg at (608)275-3317

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