CWD Carcass Disposal Pilot Program
The province is exploring a pilot carcass disposal program for the 2023-24 hunting season. Previously in partnership with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation three locations were tested as CWD disposal sites to provide hunters with a free and convenient option for safe and proper carcass disposal. The locations participating in the program were Prince Albert, Melville and Moosomin. The ministry is looking at deploying additional carcass disposal sites this season.
A disposal bin was deployed at each site and was available for hunters to dispose of deer, elk, and moose carcasses until the end of the hunting season. Carcass waste was collected on an as-needed basis and transported to one of the select landfills in the province that are engineered to contain CWD-associated material. Please note that these disposal sites are for animal carcasses only. We are exploring options for disposal locations for the 2023-2024 season.
Best Practices for Carcass Disposal
The movement of CWD infected carcasses from endemic areas of the province and disposal of remains on the landscape can result in CWD introduction to new areas. Hunters can help reduce the spread of CWD to new areas of the province by following these best practice recommendations.
If hunting in an area of the province that has a high rate of CWD prevalence, harvested animals should be field dressed and deboned near the harvest location, with the carcass left on the landscape.
It is recommended that harvested animals are field dressed and deboned near the harvest location. Hunters should take additional precautions when transporting parts that are legally required for species and age identification.
If it is not possible to field dress your harvested animal and transport is necessary, hunters are recommended to dispose of their carcass at an appropriate landfill to reduce the risk of spreading CWD to a new area.
- Get your deer, moose, elk or caribou tested.
- Avoid long-distance movements with your deer carcass.
- All transported carcass waste should be double-bagged and taken to a permitted landfill.
- Handle and dispose of your carcass in a responsible manner.
- If you hunt out of province, only bring back low-risk parts (deboned meat, cleaned skull plate, antlers, finished taxidermy mount).
- Stay up to date on the latest hunting regulations.
- Keep hunting and support ongoing efforts to control the disease by submitting heads for testing in ministry target areas
My harvested animal tested positive for CWD, what do I do?
If a cervid is found positive for CWD, hunters are authorized to double-bag carcass parts and bone-in meat and take waste to an appropriate landfill to prevent consumption by animals and to minimize environmental contamination with the CWD prion. Hunters are advised to contact landfill operators to make arrangements prior to carcass disposal. Meat may be double-bagged and disposed of in household waste in limited quantities. Meat from CWD positive animals should not be composted.
Safety and Considerations
Hunters should take precautions when field dressing, transporting and processing harvested cervids. Precautions when field dressing should include:
- Wearing latex or rubber gloves.
- Deboning the meat from the animal when possible.
- Minimizing the handling of the brain and spinal cord tissue.
- Washing hands and equipment thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
- Cleaning and disinfection of equipment (knives) should be done by soaking in 40 per cent bleach solution (two parts household bleach to three parts water) for a minimum of five minutes to minimize contamination risk.
Although no human case of CWD has ever been identified, the Ministry recommends that hunters avoid eating the meat from animals that are known to be infected. In addition, hunters are strongly urged not to eat, or distribute for human consumption, the meat or other parts from animals that are found to be CWD-positive.
If you elect to wait on testing results prior to consuming the meat, please freeze the meat.