By Georgia Department of Natural Resources | Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
When the Alabama Department of Conservation and Wildlife Resources announced Jan. 7, 2022, that Chronic Wasting Disease has been detected in a sample collected from a harvested deer in Alabama, a first for the state, its border states of Georgia and Florida alerted hunters.
CWD has not been detected in the state of Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also noted this is the first time CWD has been detected in a state that borders Florida.
CWD, a brain and central nervous system disease, is always fatal to members of the deer family. It is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by infectious proteins called prions. Currently, there are no treatments, and the disease always results in the death of the infected animal. There are no preventative vaccines or ways to protect animals that have not been infected.
CWD positive states and locations are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming as well as Canadian provinces Alberta, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Hunters in Georgia and Florida, as well as Tennessee and Mississippi are asked to be vigilant in helping reduce the risk of CWD spreading by being aware of rules prohibiting importing whole deer or carcass parts to prevent the further spread of the disease.
CWD was found in Mississippi in October 2018 and in Tennessee in December 2018.
Hunters in Georgia can find rules for importing approved carcass parts from harvested deer of all deer species here. https://georgiawildlife.com/cwd Florida hunters can find rules here.
In Tennessee, hunters can continue to fight the spread of CWD by observing rules on the Tennessee Wildlife Resource agency website.
Click here to link to Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks CWD rules.
To read more about the geographic distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease in North America, check USGS National Wildlife Center updates.