October 21, 2019

Alabama: Division of Wildlife to Host CWD Public Information Meetings Throughout State

Contact: Bee Frederick, Southeastern States Director

As deer season begins in Alabama, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) is hosting public meetings throughout the state to inform and educate the public on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) as well as WFF’s ongoing surveillance efforts regarding the disease. To date, CWD has not been detected within Alabama, though it has been detected in the neighboring states of Mississippi and Tennessee. In total, CWD has been detected in free-ranging or captive cervids in 26 states and three Canadian provinces.

CWD is a slow, progressive, always-fatal, and degenerative neurological disease occurring in farmed and free-ranging deer, elk, and moose. The disease was first recognized in 1967 as a clinical ‘wasting’ syndrome of unknown cause in captive mule deer in Colorado. There is no known treatment or vaccine for CWD. As the disease progresses, deer, elk, and moose with CWD show changes in behavior and appearance. These clinical signs may include progressive weight loss, stumbling, tremors, lack of coordination, blank facial expressions, excessive salivation and drooling, loss of appetite, excessive thirst and urination, listlessness, abnormal head posture, and drooping ears.

Attendees will also be provided the opportunity to ask questions about the disease, new regulations, and hunting season in general. Alabama recently expanded its rules that previously only applied to CWD-positive states. These regulations prohibit the importation of bone-in meat, velvet covered antlers, soft tissue from teeth, brain or spinal tissue from skull plates, raw capes, or hides from all states. Additionally, Alabama will implement a ban on the use of natural deer urine starting with the 2019-2020 deer seasons (synthetic deer urine products are not affected).

Each meeting will run from 6-8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The media is encouraged to attend. The schedule and location of meetings is outlined below:

Monday, October 21, 2019
Bass Pro Shop Meeting Room
2553 Rocky Mt. Rd.
Prattville, AL 36066

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Wallace State College
Bailey Center Auditorium
801 Main St. NW
Hanceville, AL 35077

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Auburn University
School of Forestry and Wildlife Building
Lecture Room 2217
602 Duncan Dr.
Auburn, AL 36849

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Tuscaloosa County Extension Office
2513 7th St.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35402

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Central Alabama Farmers COOP
2519 US Highway 80 West
Selma, AL 36701

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Wallace Community College
Bevill Auditorium
3235 S. Eufaula Ave.
Eufaula, AL 36027

Thursday, November 21, 2019
5 Rivers Delta Resources Center
30945 Five Rivers Blvd.
Spanish Fort, AL 36527

For more information about CWD and WFF’s efforts to prevent it from occurring in Alabama, visit Outdoor Alabama.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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