Mississippi conservation officers last week made nine cases of illegal importation of cervid carcasses, enforcing a new regulation passed in May aimed at protecting the state’s deer herd from chronic wasting disease.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said the cases were made after calls from concerned citizens and through cooperation with other state and federal agencies.
In May, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks passed 40 Mississippi Admin. Code, Part 2, Rule 2.7 that states: It is unlawful to import, transport, or possess any portion of a cervid carcass originating from any state, territory, or foreign country where the occurrence of CWD has been confirmed by either the state wildlife agency, state agriculture agency, state veterinarian, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Exempt from the importation rule are:
• Meat from cervids that has been completely deboned.• Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates or cleaned skulls where no tissue is attached to the skull.• Cleaned teeth.• Finished taxidermy and antler products.• Hides and tanned products.• Any portions of white-tailed deer originating from the land between the Mississippi River levees in Arkansas.
As of Aug. 31, CWD has been confirmed in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Additionally, the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Norway, and South Korea are CWD positive.
CWD has not been found in Mississippi, and the MDWFP plans to see that it doesn’t, at least not from deer killed and imported from another state.
“Hunters who are hunting in a CWD-positive state need to be aware of these new regulations before they bring their trophy back to Mississippi,” said Col. Steve Adcock, MDWFP Chief of Law Enforcement. “Our officers are working diligently to prevent CWD from entering into Mississippi.”
For more information on CWD, please visit the CWD Alliance website at cwd-info.org.