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Chronic Wasting Disease

ALERT: The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has passed a Notice of Intent to create rules and regulations for deer carcass exportation and baiting regulations within Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) designated chronic wasting disease (CWD) control area.



Public Comments May be Submitted Prior to July 6:
Johnathan Bordelon, Wildlife Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P. O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via e-mail to



Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, red deer, moose, and caribou. It is infectious, always fatal, and has no known treatment. It’s part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (mad cow disease) in cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue, which leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation, and death of the animal.


What is LDWF doing about CWD?

In 2022, Louisiana became the 29th state to detect CWD. LDWF detected CWD in a free-ranging white-tailed deer. In addition, the disease was previously detected in the neighboring states of Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Where CWD is discovered in Louisiana, LDWF will create a CWD control area, the size of which will depend on the location and distribution of infected deer as well as the density, distribution, and seasonal movements of the local deer population. There will be feeding and baiting restrictions in the control area where the disease is found. There also will be movement restrictions on deer body parts. Hunters will not be able to bring the whole deer out from the control area. They’ll be restricted to deboned meat, a clean skull plate with antlers, and the cape, which is the skin of the head and shoulders. Testing of deer harvested within the control area is recommended. LDWF will maintain intensive surveillance in the control area for an indefinite period of time.

Cervid Carcass Importation Regulation

Effective March 1, 2017, no person shall import, transport, or possess any cervid carcass or part of a cervid carcass originating outside of Louisiana, except:

  • Meat that is cut and wrapped
  • Meat that has been boned out
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached
  • Antlers
  • Clean skull plates with antlers
  • Cleaned skulls without tissue attached
  • Capes
  • Tanned hides
  • Finished taxidermy mounts
  • Cleaned cervid teeth

Any and all bones shall be disposed of in a manner where its final destination is an approved landfill or equivalent.

Suspect a live deer has CWD?

If you see a live deer exhibiting symptoms of CWD, contact a Wildlife field office, or if outside of working hours call 800.442.2511.

Deer Caping Demonstration


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