Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been detected in some deer in Mississippi. While it has not been known to cause disease in humans, precautions are advised to avoid possible infection.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family. It is similar to “mad cow” disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep, and is 100 percent fatal to the animal.
This disease has not been known to cause infection in humans, and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has never reported a case of CWD in people. However, certain precautions are still important to prevent possible infection from eating meat from an infected deer. Hunters who harvest deer from areas where CWD is found should strongly consider having the animals tested before eating the meat.
The Mississippi State Department of Health recommends that hunters consider not eating venison from deer harvested in an area with known CWD.
Precautions for Hunters
Testing for CWD
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has set up locations for collecting and testing harvested deer for CWD.