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Carcass Disposal Options

CWD Carcass Disposal Pilot Program

The province is exploring a pilot carcass disposal program for the 2023-24 hunting season in an effort to reduce the spread of chronic wasting disease. Disposal bins have been set up at Melville, Moosomin, Prince Albert and Pelly. There is no charge for hunters to dispose of a carcass.

A disposal bin is available at each of these sites for hunters to dispose of deer, elk, and moose carcasses or carcass waste until the end of the hunting season (January 31, 2024). Carcass waste is collected on an as-needed basis and transported to one of the select landfills in the province that are engineered to contain CWD-infected material. Please note that these disposal sites are for animal carcasses and carcass waste only.

Best Practices for Carcass Disposal

The movement of CWD-infected carcasses from endemic areas of the province and disposal of carcasses and carcass waste on the landscape poses the risk of environmental contamination and introducing CWD to new areas. Hunters can help reduce the spread of CWD by following these best practice recommendations:

  • If hunting in an area of the province that has a high rate of CWD, harvested animals should be field dressed and quartered near the harvest location, with the remaining carcass parts left on the landscape. Please obtain landowner consent if leaving carcass remains at the kill site.
  • If transport is necessary, take additional precautions by double bagging animal parts and disposing of carcass waste in a carcass disposal bin or an appropriate landfill.

Additional recommendations:

  • Get your deer, moose, elk or caribou tested.
  • Avoid long-distance movements with your carcass.
  • All transported carcass waste should be double-bagged and taken to a permitted landfill or a carcass disposal bin.
  • Handle and dispose of your carcass responsibly.
  • 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 harvested cervid tests positive for CWD, hunters are authorized to double-bag carcass parts and bone-in meat and take it to an appropriate landfill or carcass disposal bin. This is to prevent consumption by wildlife or pets and to minimize environmental contamination. We advise hunters 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 (i.e. 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.

No human case of CWD has ever been identified. However, it is recommended to avoid consumption or distribution of meat from CWD-positive animals.

If you elect to wait for testing results prior to consuming the meat, please freeze the meat.

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