FWP Seeking Help With CWD Monitoring

Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has not been found in Montana but evidence of the disease has been found within 50 miles of the Montana border.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials are asking hunters, outfitters, landowners, and others to help keep a look out for CWD, a serious wildlife disease.

Hunters in eastern Montana are asked to donate heads from game harvested in portions of FWP Regions 6 and 7 as part of an FWP survey. Hunters can drop off heads at hunter check stations, FWP offices and at participating meat processors within the survey area.

A total of nearly 16,000 wild deer, elk and moose have been tested for CWD in Montana since 1998.   While none have tested positive for the brain disease, it is important to remain vigilant and to detect the disease early should it enter the state.

Hunters can help reduce the potential for accidental spread of CWD by properly disposing of carcasses in landfills.

Hunters should also use safe practices in handling game animals in general to prevent the potential spread of disease and parasites. Here are some simple , common sense precautions to follow when field dressing and butchering big game.

  • Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that is acting abnormally or that appears sick. Contact FWP if you see an animal that appears sick.
  • Wear rubber gloves when field dressing any game animal.
  • Bone out the meat from your deer or elk. DonÒ€ℒt saw through bone, and avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
  • Minimize contact with animal brain, intestines, fluids, spinal tissue and feces.
  • Be mindful of humans and domestic dogs touching or coming in contact with animal carcasses or feces as it can be contaminated and transmit parasites without the presence of visible feces.
  • Prevent dogs from eating the internal organs of game animals.
  • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of deer or elk. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning-out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes.)
  • If you have your wild meat commercially processed, request that your animal is handled individually, without meat from other animals being added to meat from your animal.
  • Wash hands and forearms after field dressing game animals.
  • Soak any utensils used to field dress game animals in a solution of one part household bleach and 10 parts water for 20 minutes.
  • Cook all game meat until well done.

Craig Sharpe
Executive Director
Montana Wildlife Federation
(406) 458-0227

5530 N. Montana Ave

Helena, MT 59602
Official Web-site: www.montanawildlife.org
This message brought to you by Montana’s largest statewide wildlife organization of more than 7,500 conservation minded hunters and anglers with a common mission ‘To protect and enhance Montana’s public wildlife, lands, waters and fair chase hunting and fishing heritage’.

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