AUGUSTA, Maine — With Chronic Wasting Disease discovered in bordering Quebec, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries implemented emergency rules today designed to protect Maine’s deer and moose herds, and keep Maine CWD free.
“Chronic Wasting Disease is the most serious threat facing our deer and moose populations in modern times,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “Unchecked, this disease could devastate Maine’s Deer and Moose populations, and ravage Maine’s hunting and wildlife watching economy.”
CWD is an always fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, moose and other cervids such as elk and caribou. CWD is caused by a mutant protein called a prion, which causes lesions in the brain. Research shows prions can be shed in saliva, blood, urine, feces, antler velvet, and body fat. Prions bind to soil where they can remain infectious for years. CWD is always fatal, there is no treatment, vaccine or resistance, and once present in the state, it is nearly impossible to eradicate.
In order to halt the spread of CWD and keep this devastating disease out of Maine, the Department has implemented the following rules regarding the importation of deer and other cervids into the state of Maine. It is now illegal to bring cervid carcasses or parts except in the following manner:
In addition, the rule also prohibits the temporary importation of cervid carcasses and parts that are in-transit through Maine to another jurisdiction. These rules apply to all states and provinces with the exception of New Hampshire.
In addition, the Department urges all hunters to help halt the spread of CWD by following these guidelines:
Following these guidelines will help prevent the spread of CWD as Deer shed prions in urine, feces, and saliva and Infected animals can start shedding prions nearly a year before showing clinical signs of the disease.
“We hope that all hunters take an active role in keeping CWD out of Maine by doing their part to prevent the spread of CWD,” said Woodcock.
This article was written by Rangeley News Hound