Hunters bring banned elk parts into Rogue Valley from CWD-positive states
Friday, December 1, 2017
CENTRAL POINT, Ore – Two local hunters recently brought prohibited elk parts from Colorado and Wyoming into the Rogue Valley. The elk were harvested in these states which have some deer, elk and moose infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease.
Oregon is still a CWD-free state. It has never been detected in captive or free-ranging deer, elk, or moose in Oregon.
However, the risk of non-reversible disease transmission to wild ungulates is high because even one infected animal can affect the future of all susceptible species in the state. By bringing potentially CWD-infected elk parts containing central nervous system tissue into Oregon, these hunters jeopardized the health and population of Oregon’s deer, elk, and moose.
Oregon State Police cited the hunters. This follows a similar case earlier in November where a Madras man also brought banned parts of a CWD-positive deer harvested in Montana to Oregon. ODFW collected the banned parts and incinerated them which is one of the only ways to destroy the pathogen.
Duane Dungannon, State Coordinator for the Oregon Hunters Association says hunters play a critical role in keeping CWD out of Oregon.
“We need hunters who go out of state to be vigilant and not bring prohibited ungulate parts back to Oregon. CWD represents perhaps the greatest threat to our big game because it has the potential to devastate our ungulate populations,” Dungannon said.
OHA has been seriously concerned about preventing the spread of this disease to wild game herds. The group has advocated for tight regulations on game ranching and has consistently funded disease research and prevention across the state.
People hunting in states with CWD who harvest a deer, elk or moose may only bring back parts without spinal cord or brain tissue (e.g. no spinal column and only antlers on a clean skullcap). See page 29 of the Oregon Big Game Regulations under “Parts Ban” for more information.
CWD is caused by a protein prion that damages the brain of infected animals, causing progressive neurological disease and loss of body condition. It’s untreatable and always fatal. It spreads through none-to-nose contact between infected animals and through the animal’s bodily fluids. The priors that cause CWD can also last a long