Warty deer "may look icky, but meat is fine," state says


(Photo: WFF)

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Hunters have spotted unsightly growths on Alabama’s white-tailed deer population, but the state says it’s not that big of a deal.

The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) shared a post to its Facebook page explaining the deer have cutaneous fibromas, otherwise known as “deer warts.”

WFF confirmed the hairless tumors found on the neck or head of the deer are caused by a virus but are usually temporary. Some deer may only have one or two fibromas, but others may have numerous tumors that can occur in clumps.

WFF said in the post that the transmission from deer to deer is thought to happen by biting insects or possibly from contact with contaminated materials through abrasions on the deer’s hide.

Humans and farm animals are not susceptible to contracting the virus, WFF said. They added the cutaneous fibromas are common and not a threat to our state’s deer populations.

“Deer with warts may look icky, but the meat is still fine. Only a large tumor with secondary bacterial infection (i.e., oozing pus) would cause meat to be unfit for human consumption.”

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