Wildlife officials remind hunters of import ban

STATE NEWS — The beginning of deer season is right around the corner and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) officials reminds hunters, especially those who hunt in both Tennessee and Alabama, of an import ban, enacted to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

The ban makes it illegal to import whole carcasses and certain body parts of any species of deer into either state.

According to a press release, the import ban on deer in Alabama and Tennessee is part of a larger effort throughout the country to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) – a fatal neurological disease of white-tailed deer and other deer species, including mule deer, elk and moose.

The import ban in Tennessee and Alabama is a part of a larger effort throughout the U.S. to stop the spread of the disease. Wildlife agencies in other southern states have enacted similar bans. CWD has been detected in 26 states, with the closest cases found in free-ranging populations in West Tennessee.

CWD is a slowly progressing disease and is harbored in an infected animal long before the animal shows signs.  Signs typically are not seen until the animal is 12-18 months old and may take as long as 3 years or more. CWD attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions, become weak and eventually die. Signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, listlessness, teeth grinding, lowering of the head and drooping ears.

Wildlife officials ask Moore County hunters to report deer or elk that either look sick, act strange, or are found dead to the District 22 office at 615-781-6622 or 800-624-7406. To learn more about Chronic Wasting Disease, visit the TWRA website. •

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