Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurological disease found only in elk and deer. The disease is similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as "mad cow" disease. Although there is no scientific evidence that CWD can be contracted by eating animals infected with the disease, health officials recommend that hunters take precautions with game harvested in areas known to be infected with CWD.
- Avoid eating body parts where CWD accumulates: brain, eyes, spinal cord, lymph nodes, tonsils, and spleen.
- When butchering, bone out the meat—cuts that leave meat on the bone have a higher likelihood of contamination.
- In Pennsylvania, it is unlawful to transport out of an area certain deer parts that are known to be infected with CWD. Learn more at the Pennsylvania Game Commission CWD website.
Donating Game Meat
"Hunters Sharing the Harvest" and many local donation programs are available to bowhunters who want to donate their animal to a worthy cause.