CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious, always fatal and has no known cure. It’s part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue, which leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.
LDWF continues to monitor and test the state’s white-tailed deer population for CWD. It has not yet been found in Louisiana, but Texas and Arkansas have documented it in their deer populations. If CWD is discovered in Louisiana, LDWF will create a management zone, the size of which will depend on the locations and distribution of infected deer as well as the density, distribution and seasonal movements of the local deer population. There will be feeding and baiting restrictions in the management zone where the disease is found. It may be necessary to reduce and maintain a lower deer density in that area. There also will be movement restrictions placed on deer body parts. Hunters will not be able to bring a whole deer out from the management zone. They’ll be restricted to deboned meat, a clean skull plate with the antlers and the cape, which is the skin of the head and shoulders. Any deer harvested within the management zone will be tested. LDWF will maintain intensive surveillance in the management zone for an indefinite period of time.
Effective March 1, 2017, no person shall import, transport or possess any cervid carcass or part of a cervid carcass originating outside of Louisiana, except:
Any and all bones shall be disposed of in a manner where its final destination is at an approved landfill or equivalent.