MDWFP issues rules to control wasting disease

Published 7:53 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi officials are setting new rules about feeding wildlife and hog trapping in an effort to control a debilitating deer disease.

The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks voted last week to ban feeding and require permits for hog trapping in Warren County, as well as most of Issaquena and Sharkey counties. No deer carcasses can be transported outside the zone.

The action lifts regulations on feeding and hog trapping previously in place in Hinds, Claiborne and Yazoo counties.
The bans seek to keep chronic wasting disease from spreading. The first deer with the disease was found in Mississippi in January in Issaquena County. The contagious and fatal neurological disease typically causes deer to have tremors and other movement problems.

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The disease is most easily transmitted through saliva, which prompted the feeding ban inside the management zone. Decomposing carcasses can also transmit the disease into soil and plant material and introduce it to new areas.

Hunters are urged to inspect the condition of each deer at the time of harvest, and to not eat any part of animals exhibiting clinical symptoms of CWD, including extreme weight loss, excessive salivation, or erratic behavior.

Hunters who want to have a deer tested for CWD are recommended to retain the head and freeze it immediately. They should also report any deer that appears to be diseased at or by calling 1-800-BE-SMART.