Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management and Regulations

Understanding the CWD Management Zone

The CWD Management Zone includes counties situated around areas where Chronic Wasting Disease cases have been detected. This zone adheres to specific regulations aimed at managing and mitigating the disease's impact.

Mandatory CWD Sampling

Hunters harvesting deer within the CWD Management Zone are required to take their deer—or just the head—to a CWD sampling station as part of the state's efforts to monitor and control the spread of the disease. Compliance with carcass transport regulations is mandatory when traveling to and from CWD sampling stations.

Special Regulations within the CWD Management Zone

Carcass Movement Restrictions:

  • Before any parts of a deer harvested from the CWD Management Zone are transported out of the county of harvest, they must be reported through Telecheck.
  • Deer parts with the spinal column or brain present may be transported within a limited timeframe if they are delivered to a licensed meat processor, a licensed taxidermist, or an approved Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) CWD sampling site.
  • Certain deer parts, such as boned-out meat, quarters without spinal column or head, cleaned hides, antlers, and finished taxidermy products, may be transported out of the CWD Management Zone without restriction.

Prohibition on Feeding:

  • Within the CWD Management Zone, using grain, salt products, minerals, and other consumable products to attract deer is prohibited year-round. Exceptions include feed placed near residences or in ways that exclude access by deer, feed used for agricultural or forestry practices, and feed as part of authorized management efforts.

Other Special Regulations for the CWD Management Zone:

  • Antler-Point Restriction Removal: The MDC has removed the antler-point restriction in the CWD Management Zone to decrease the protection of young bucks. This measure aims to reduce the likelihood of these deer dispersing and potentially spreading CWD.
  • Bringing Harvested Deer or Other Cervids Into Missouri: Restrictions are in place regarding what parts of deer, elk, moose, or caribou harvested out of state can be brought into Missouri. Generally, parts without the spinal column or head and cleaned of excess tissue are allowed.

Efforts to Slow the Spread of CWD

Although CWD is relatively rare in Missouri, ongoing surveillance and management efforts are crucial in minimizing its long-term impacts. Hunters and landowners play a vital role in these efforts by complying with regulations, properly disposing of deer carcasses, reporting sick deer, and participating in voluntary testing. By adhering to these practices, the spread of CWD can be effectively managed and slowed, ensuring the health and sustainability of deer populations.

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