2013-12-26 / Front Page

Hunters must remember Ga. laws on transporting certain deer parts

By KIP BURKE,
news editor

Wilkes County hunters and other outdoorsmen who are concerned with the possible spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk have asked local DNR conservation rangers to remind holiday hunters and travelers of the restrictions on moving certain deer parts.

“We really have to keep chronic wasting disease out of Georgia,” said Corporal Mark Patterson, state conservation ranger for Wilkes County. The disease is similar to mad cow disease, only it affects deer and elk, he said, and only in some states.

“It has affected 10 states out west, and we don’t want it to be introduced into Georgia,” Patterson said. “Georgia’s not positive for CWD and we want to keep it that way. If we got this disease, it would be a disaster to the state and to our hunting, and it would have a terrible impact on the economy.”

Scientists think a mode of CWD transmission is through infected carcasses. Since the suspected infective agent (prion) is concentrated in the brain, spinal cord and lymph glands, the most common regulation is the prohibition of the importation of whole carcasses harvested from CWD areas. Generally, states that have adopted carcass transportation regulations do not allow the importation of any brain or spinal column tissue. No live deer may be brought in.

They do allow transport of only the following: meat that is cut and wrapped (either commercially or privately); quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; meat that has been boned out; hides with no heads attached; clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached; antlers with no meat or tissue attached; upper canine teeth, also known as “buglers,” “whistlers,” or “ivories;” or finished taxidermy.

Patterson said that violation is a misdemeanor with a possible fine of $500 and a license suspension of 3 years.

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