Hunting Best Practices to Prevent the Spread of CWD
- Get your deer, moose, elk or caribou tested.
- Avoid artificial congregation of deer (e.g., feeding/baiting, mineral licks, natural urine scent products)
- Avoid long-distance movements with your deer carcass.
- If you hunt out of province or in a CWD endemic area, only bring back low risk parts (deboned meat, antlers, clean skull plate, hide, finished taxidermy products) with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
- All transported carcass waste should be double-bagged and taken to a permitted landfill or a ministry-sponsored disposal location.
- Handle and dispose of your carcass in a responsible manner.
- If transporting to a taxidermist or sampling station, ensure proper precautions are taken.
- 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.
Field Dressing and Butchering
- Wear rubber or latex gloves.
- Have a specific set of tools for field dressing that you do not use for butchering.
- Minimize contact with the brain, spinal cord, spleen and lymph nodes (grey/green lumps of tissue next to organs or in fat and membranes).
- Remove all internal organs and minimize your contact with those parts and all central nervous system tissue.
- Avoid cutting through bones. You may wish to consider boning out the meat.
- Avoid meat contaminated with brain matter or gut contents.
- Do not cut through the spinal column except to remove the head. Use a dedicated knife for this specific purpose.
- Clean knives and other equipment with a 40 per cent solution of household bleach (two parts bleach to three parts water). Soak for at least five minutes, rinse and air dry.
Hunters can help reduce the spread of CWD to new areas of the province. Carcasses should be field dressed and deboned near the harvest location or, if dressing/deboning at another site, transported no more than 80 km.
Carcass Disposal – What to do if your animal tests positive
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.
For more information on carcass disposal, see the Carcass Disposal Options webpage.