MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is increasing checks for a lethal deer disease because chronic wasting disease has been found in neighboring Mississippi and Tennessee.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is asking hunters to submit harvested deer for chronic wasting disease tests at check stations, freezer drop-off locations, or offices of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.
Details of the various procedures and a map of more than 50 drop-off locations are on the Outdoor Alabama website. Using one of the freezers requires removing the deer’s head, including four to six inches of neck, and putting it in a provided plastic bag. Antlers can be removed first.
Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a highly infectious disease spread by prions, which can be present in an infected deer’s saliva, feces, urine, blood, and antler velvet for a year or two before symptoms show. It has been found in most kinds of deer and related species, including moose, elk, mule deer, and white-tailed deer, and in more than two dozen states.