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TPWD Seeking Public Input On CWD Carcass Disposal Regulations

The TPWD is proposing new guidelines for deer with a chronic wasting disease that damages portions of the brain and causes progressive loss of body condition, behavioral changes, and excessive salivation that can lead to death.

TPWD only seeks statewide carcass disposal for carcass parts from native deer, including white-tailed deer and mule deer, harvested in Texas and transported from the harvest property.

CARCASS DISPOSAL

The department has determined that a statewide carcass disposal rule could decrease the spread of CWD. The disposal rule would outline accessible and acceptable options for potentially infectious tissues.

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TPWD said acceptable disposal options would include:

  • “Directly or indirectly disposing of the remains at a landfill permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to receive such wastes,
  • Burying the carcass at a depth of no less than three feet below the natural surface of the ground and covered with at least three feet of earthen material or
  • They returned to the property where the hunter harvested the animal.
  • TPWD is also proposing to allow hunters to debone a carcass at the site of harvest, provided proof of sex and tags are maintained until the hunter reaches the final destination. Meat from each deboned carcass must remain in whole muscle groups and kept in a separate bag, package, or container until reaching the final destination.”

CONTAINMENT ZONES

The proposed guideline on containment zones (cz), which refers to areas where CWD has been detected and confirmed, would expand to places in the panhandle.

We tell hunters they must comply with the carcass movement restrictions, including “quartering a hunter-harvested animal and leaving the most infectious parts of the animal (i.e., brain and spinal cord) within the zone.”

The guideline would also replace mandatory check station requirements with voluntary testing measures to begin Sept. 1.

  • CZ 1- Hudspeth and Culberson counties
  • CZ 2- Deaf Smith, Oldham, and Hartley counties
  • CZ 3- Medina and Uvalde counties
  • CZ 4- Val Verde County
  • CZ 5- Lubbock County
  • CZ 6- Kimble County

The proposed guidelines would replace mandatory check station requirements in surveillance zones (sz), or places where CWD has not yet been detected but is at risk for exposure, with voluntary testing measures in:

  • SZ 1- Culberson and Hudspeth counties
  • SZ 3 – Medina and Uvalde counties
  • SZ 4 – Val Verde County
  • SZ 5- Kimble County
  • SZ 6 – Garza, Lynn, Lubbock, and Crosby counties

People can visit the TPWD website to find the complete list of guideline proposals.

People can provide comments for or against these proposals online by emailing TPWD Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Hunter Reed at jhunter.reed@tpwd.texas.gov or in person during the TPWD Commission meeting on May 23 at 9 p.m. at the Austin headquarters.