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Keep Oregon free of Chronic Wasting Disease—get your deer and elk checked

   

Date:

October 1 , 2008

Contact:

Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
Fax (503) 947-6009

SALEM, Ore.—Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife remind hunters who harvest a deer or elk to have the animal checked for Chronic Wasting Disease. Also, hunters need to follow regulations that prohibit the import of any deer, elk or moose parts containing central nervous system tissue into Oregon from states or Canadian provinces with CWD.

CWD is an untreatable neurological disease that is always fatal to deer, elk and moose. Oregon is fortunate to be a CWD-free state today as no state or province that has detected CWD in its free-ranging wildlife has been able to eradicate it.

Sampling the animals of successful hunters is one of the major ways ODFW monitors for the disease. There are several ways hunters can provide a sample.

During rifle deer season that starts this weekend or the first bull elk season in late October, hunters can visit one of several check stations where ODFW staff and volunteers will be available to take samples. Check stations are generally open from dawn until dusk; look for highway signs indicating stations are open.

Buck deer, Oct. 5-6

  • I-84 West at Biggs Junction
  • Prineville weigh station (just east of Prineville on Hwy 26)
  • Highway 20 B&B Sporting Goods, Hines (Burns)

First bull elk season, Nov. 1-2

  • Prineville weigh station (just east of Prineville on Hwy 26)
  • I-84 West at Biggs Junction

Southwest region hunters can visit information booths located at several popular highway junctions during the two weekends of the black-tailed deer season (Oct. 4-5 and Oct. 25-26) and opening weekend of the Cascade elk season (Oct. 18-19), and two weekends of the Coastal elk season (Nov.15-16,and 22-23)  Regional staff, who are at the booths to talk with hunters, can also obtain a sample for CWD testing.  

 For these locations, booths open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Molalla Tree Farm (by the Weyerhaeuser High Camp Mainline Gate on S. Dickey Prairie Road)- Deer (Oct 4-5 and 25-26) Elk ( Oct. 18-19)
  • Baker Point Mainline Gate (off of Apiary Road, roughly 2 miles east of Hwy 47) – Deer (Oct.25-26), Elk (Nov.15-16)
  • Yamhill Check station at the junction of NW Old Railroad Grade Road and NW Rockyford Road – Elk (Nov. 22-23)

Additionally, ODFW staff will be out in the field during the opening weekends of deer rifle and bull elk seasons to talk with hunters and take samples. Beginning Monday, Oct. 6, hunters can contact their nearest ODFW office and set up a time to stop by and provide a sample from the head of their animal.

Hunting out of state? Follow CWD regulations

Hunters traveling to other states are also reminded that it is illegal to bring deer, elk or moose parts containing central nervous system tissue into Oregon from any state or province with a documented case of the disease (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, West Virginia and Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada). 

“Oregon State Police will aggressively investigate all incidents of illegal importation of parts or wildlife from CWD-infected states,” said Lieutenant Dave Cleary, OSP Fish & Wildlife Division. “All parts that possibly could have neurological tissue attached will be seized and destroyed of appropriately.”

The reason for the concern is evidence that prions, the agents that cause CWD, last a long time in the environment. Some hunters dispose of heads or spinal columns on the landscape where other wildlife could encounter the prions and contract the disease. 

“We don’t want to inadvertently allow the disease to get into Oregon via hunter-harvested deer and elk from states or provinces that have CWD-infected animals,” said ODFW Wildlife Veterinarian Colin Gillin,

The following parts may still be imported into Oregon: Meat cut and wrapped commercially or privately; meat that has been boned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; hides and/or capes with no head attached; skull plates with antlers attached that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue (velvet antlers are allowed); antlers with no tissue attached (velvet antlers are allowed); upper canine teeth (buglers, whistlers and ivories); and finished taxidermy heads. To see a demonstration of how to properly bone out an animal and remove central nervous system tissue, visit http://www.cwd-info.org/index.php/fuseaction/recommendations.video

No evidence suggests that Chronic Wasting Disease can be transmitted to people. Nevertheless, hunters should always take simple precautions to protect themselves from exposure to wildlife diseases. Hunters should not harvest animals that appear sick; wear rubber or latex gloves when field dressing an animal; trim all meat to remove fat and lymph gland tissue; and only consume meat that has been thoroughly cooked to at least 165 degrees.

For more information on CWD, visit the website of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance http://www.cwd-info.org/

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