Rule Changes Regarding Chronic Wasting Disease

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The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is allowing hunters to bring deer and elk hunted out of state back into Illinois so long as the carcasses are brought to a licensed meat processor or licensed taxidermist within 72 hours of entry into the state.

The rule, effective immediately, amends an earlier prohibition on the transportation of hunter-harvested deer and elk carcasses into Illinois, except for deboned meat, antlers, antlers attached to skull caps, hides, upper canine teeth and finished taxidermy mounts. Individuals who do not take their harvest to either a licensed meat processor or licensed taxidermist still must comply with this regulation.

The rule requires meat processors and taxidermists to dispose of discarded animal materials either with a renderer or in a landfill. Full text of the rule can be found on the Department's web site at

This change helps ensure animal parts are being properly disposed of and is a result of public comment about the restrictions put in place this summer to help prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease into Illinois.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease found in cervids (deer and elk) and is not known to be contagious to people or livestock.

CWD has been diagnosed in both wild and captive deer and elk in the western United States for many years. Earlier this year, tests confirmed the presence of CWD in free ranging deer in Wisconsin and in farmed or captive animals in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The first positive test for CWD in Illinois was confirmed November 1 in a sample taken from an adult female deer discovered east of Roscoe near the Winnebago-Boone county line in northern Illinois.

IDNR is testing hunter-harvested deer for CWD to determine its presence in Illinois' deer herd. About 3,600 of the 4,000 samples already have been collected. The second half of the firearm deer season is Dec. 5-8.