Acting to protect Kentucky wildlife from chronic wasting disease, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources on Monday expanded its ban against hunters bringing any harvested deer, elk or other cervid into the Bluegrass State unless the brain and spinal cord of the carcass have been removed.

The ban now applies to cervids harvested from all U.S. states and all foreign countries.

Under the expanded ban, hunters must remove the brain and spinal cord from white-tailed deer, elk and other members of the deer family harvested anywhere outside Kentucky before bringing them into the state.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has not been detected in Kentucky.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife implemented these broader controls to protect the state’s deer and elk herds from CWD, a neurological disease that affects members of the deer family. CWD is fatal; there are no treatments or vaccines. It can cause substantial damage to animal populations and to the economic activity associated with them.

The action comes just days after a preliminary positive detection of CWD in 10 white-tailed deer harvested in southern Tennessee.

Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal cord or head attached, boned-out meat, antlers, antlers attached to a clean skull plate, a clean skull, clean teeth, hides and finished taxidermy works can be brought into Kentucky.

Chronic wasting disease can be spread across the landscape, either directly through the natural movement of infected deer, elk or other members of the deer family, or through the interstate movement of infected captive deer, elk or other members of the deer family. It also can be transmitted indirectly through the movement of infected carcasses and parts from hunter-harvested deer, elk or other members of the deer family, as well as contaminated soil and water sources.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will provide additional information about these new CWD protections via social media and news releases.

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