Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Guidelines for Hunters
Attention: Hunters Traveling Outside Washington State
When hunting deer, elk, moose, or caribou outside of Washington, be aware of new regulations regarding the import of meat and trophies to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
- De-boned Meat: Meat must be de-boned in the state or province of harvest and imported as boned-out meat.
- Skulls and Antlers: Includes skulls, antlers attached to the skull plate (velvet removed), or upper canine teeth, with all soft tissue removed.
- Hides or Capes: Without the heads attached.
- Laboratory Tissue: Tissue imported for diagnostic or research purposes.
- Finished Taxidermy Mounts: Allowed for import.
Penalties for Violation
- Gross Misdemeanor: Violating these rules can result in a fine up to $5,000 or one year in jail (RCW 77.15.290).
- Notification Requirement: If informed that harvested game outside Washington tested positive for CWD, notify the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife within 24 hours. Failure to do so is an infraction (RCW 77.15.160).
CWD Testing in Washington
- Ongoing Testing: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been testing for CWD since 1995.
- Current Status: No detection of CWD in Washington to date.
- Request for Cooperation: Hunters are urged to assist in maintaining healthy deer, elk, moose, and caribou populations.
- State and Province Carcass Import Regulations: Review regulations at https://cwd-info.org/state-and-province-carcass-import-regulations/ before hunting in other locations.
- Contact Information: For queries, contact the Wildlife Program at (360) 902-2515.
Website for More Information
Visit www.wdfw.wa.gov/cwd for further details on CWD.
New CWD Surveillance Program and Free Testing for Hunters in Eastern Washington
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Surveillance Initiative
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has launched a new Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance program. This program focuses on deer and elk harvested in eastern Washington, specifically within Region 1.
Free CWD Testing for Harvested Deer and Elk
- Hunters in Region 1: If you harvest a deer or elk in eastern Washington's Region 1, you are eligible for free testing for CWD.
How to Submit a Sample
- Online Guidance: For detailed instructions on how to submit a sample for testing, visit the WDFW website dedicated to CWD surveillance: www.wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/diseases/chronic-wasting/surveillance-program.
- Process: The website provides step-by-step guidance on sample collection and submission.
Importance of CWD Testing
- Disease Impact: Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal neurological illness that affects deer, elk, and moose. It poses significant risks to wildlife populations and ecosystems.
- Contribution to Wildlife Health: Hunter participation in this surveillance program is crucial. By submitting samples, hunters contribute to the monitoring and management of wildlife health in Washington.
- Informed Management Decisions: The data gathered from these tests will aid WDFW in making informed decisions about wildlife management and CWD mitigation strategies.
- Public Safety: Ensuring the health of deer and elk populations contributes to public safety and conservation efforts.
- Ecosystem Health: Monitoring and managing CWD helps maintain the balance and health of the ecosystem in eastern Washington.