Louisiana Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Updates

  • 2023 Notices:
    • LDWF actively monitors and tests white-tailed deer for CWD.
  • Recent Discoveries:
    • In 2022, Louisiana identified its first cases, becoming the 29th state to report CWD presence.
    • CWD had already been detected in neighboring states: Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

CWD Carcass Import & Export Regulations for Louisiana

Importation Regulations to Prevent CWD Spread

  • Implemented to mitigate the risks of Chronic Wasting Disease.
  • Regulates transport of cervids harvested outside of Louisiana.

States with CWD

  • Detected in 30 American states and four Canadian provinces.

Requirements for Approved Parts & Deboned Meat

  • Must have a possession tag including:
    • Hunter’s name
    • Out-of-state license number (if required)
    • Address
    • Species harvested
    • Date and location of harvest (county and state)

Seizure of Violating Carcasses

  • Carcasses not complying with the ban will be seized.
  • Follows Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and Department regulations.

Allowed Cervid Carcass Parts for Import/Transport

  • Cut and wrapped meat.
  • Boned-out meat.
  • Meat portions without spinal column or head.
  • Antlers.
  • Clean skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Fully cleaned skulls with no tissue.
  • Capes, tanned hides, and finished taxidermy mounts.
  • Cleaned cervid teeth.

Louisiana CWD Control Area Regulations and Information

Baiting and Bait Prohibition

  • Baiting or hunting over bait is not allowed within CWD control areas.
  • Hunters must check for bait prior to hunting.
  • Bait defined as salt, grain, or feed that can entice wild quadrupeds or birds by ingestion.
  • Permitted bait for feral hog trapping that deer do not normally ingest is allowed.

Carcass Export Ban

  • Export of cervid carcasses from control areas is restricted, except for allowed parts.
  • Intact deer heads may be transported to taxidermists by waiver following guidelines.

CWD Control Area Resources

  • More details and a map:

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

  • A fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting various deer species.
  • Part of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), similar to mad cow disease and scrapie.
  • Symptoms: emaciation, neurological issues leading to death.

CWD in Louisiana

  • Detected in Louisiana's white-tailed deer.
  • Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas also confirmed CWD cases.
  • LDWF has tested about 16,000 deer since 2002.

CWD Transmission

  • Spread by direct contact or via infected biological materials.
  • Prions can bind to soil and remain indefinitely.

Recognizing CWD

  • Incubation of one to two years.
  • Indications: weight loss, lethargy, abnormal behavior, excessive salivation, and more.

Human Risk

  • No known infections in humans, according to the CDC.
  • Recommended: Test deer for CWD before consumption and avoid eating CWD-positive venison.

Reporting Suspected Cases

  • Report symptomatic deer to the nearest LDWF field office.
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