NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Four hunters were charged in East Tennessee for illegally bringing white-tailed deer carcasses from a state with the confirmed presence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says the deer hadn’t been properly prepared, as required by law.
Officials say the deer were brought in from Virginia, which has had confirmed cases of CWD since 2009. Importation restrictions became effective for the entire state this year.
In the effort to help prevent CWD from entering Tennessee, the TWRA has placed importation restrictions for cervids— including deer, moose, and elk carcasses–from any state that has found a positive case of CWD.
“[Animals] lose weight, they look really skinny, they have trouble eating and drinking,” said Chuch Yoest, TWRA Assistant Chief of Wildlife and Forestry Division. “It’s passed both through animals and through the environment to animals, so when you add all those things up, it’s nearly impossible to contain.”
CWD is progressive and ultimately fatal.
Carcasses and other cervid parts from the CWD-positive states that may be brought into or possessed in Tennessee include:
- Meat that has bones removed
- Antlers, antlers attached to clean skull plates, or cleaned skulls (no meat or tissues)
- Cleaned teeth
- Finished taxidermy, hides and tanned products