Ban on In-state Deer/Elk Movement Lifted

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Officials with the Kentucky Departments of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and Agriculture (KDA) announce the removal of a six-month ban on in-state movement of live cervids (deer and elk) within Kentucky, effective May 13, 2003. Importing cervids into Kentucky from other states is still prohibited.

Initial results from more than 1,500 deer tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Kentucky have revealed no positive cases. A total of 2,500 animals will be tested by summer.

CWD is a fatal disease in deer and elk that has been found in 12 states and two Canadian provinces. The ban was put in place to give Kentucky officials time to check its wild herd and captive herds, and collect CWD information from other states.

“Based on the results of the animals we’ve tested so far, we feel confident CWD has not gotten into Kentucky,” said Dr. Jon Gassett, KDFWR wildlife division director.

“We think it is safe to allow Kentucky deer and elk ranchers to begin moving animals again within the state without the threat of spreading CWD,” added Gassett.

“There will continue to be a strict prohibition on the importation of cervid species into Kentucky from other states,” State Veterinarian Dr. Don Notter said. “The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are confident that deer and elk ranchers will continue to cooperate with regulatory officials in safeguarding our state’s cervid industry.”

By law, Kentucky’s captive herds must be enrolled in the Cervid Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Identification (CCWDSI) Program and pass a KDFWR/KDA inspection for a cervid permit by October 1, 2003. Failing to bring a herd into compliance with all current regulations may result in a citation and herd depopulation.