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Travelers restricted on return

Thu., Sept. 17, 2009

Washington sportsmen who venture out-of-state to hunt big game cannot legally return with certain parts of ungulate species taken in states or provinces where chronic wasting disease has been detected.

CWD, a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, is a degenerative brain disease that afflicts North American deer, elk and moose. While fatal to the infected animals, wildlife and health authorities have found no indication that CWD can be transmitted to humans.

Washington and Idaho currently are CWD-free states.

However, the disease has been found in free-roaming animals in 13 states or provinces: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming plus Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Hunters who bag an animal in any of those areas may return to Washington only with:

•De-boned meat.

•Hides or capes without heads attached.

•Finished taxidermy.

•Skulls and antlers, antlers attached to the skull plate, or upper canine teeth from which all soft tissue has been removed.

•Samples of tissue reserved for diagnostic or research laboratories.

Most states with CWD in specific locales already prohibit the movement of embargoed animal remains.

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