Chronic wasting disease in Utah
Frequently asked questions
Q. What should I do to have my animal tested?
A. If you have harvested an animal from a target sample unit (2009 CWD sampling units map — (PDF format)), please take the animal or the head to any regional DWR office, the Salt Lake office, or to any check station or conservation officer in the field. Please note that CWD testing is a voluntary program and is not part of the mandatory reporting requirement. Hunters who are having their animal caped/mounted and would still like to test the animal for CWD are requested to bring the skinned head in immediately after it is caped (sampling requires cutting through the neck below the jaw line, which ruins the cape).
Q. What areas of the state is the DWR testing for CWD?
A. By the end of 2005, the DWR sampled all WMUs with adequate deer populations, and collected statistically valid sample sizes designed to detect the presence of CWD at a one percent prevalence level, with 95 percent confidence limits. The DWR will continue CWD presence/absence surveillance in roadkill and symptomatic animals throughout the state, and will continue to collect samples from hunter-harvested animals if the animal is from a target sample unit.
Q. Can I have my animal tested if it is not from a target sample unit?
A. Anyone wishing to have an animal tested that is not from a target sample unit (2009 CWD sampling units map — (PDF format)), may do so at their own expense, through the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at 950 E. 1400 N. in Logan, or at 1451 S. Main in Nephi. To assist the lab with the volume of calls, we have agreed to remove samples for anyone desiring to have their animal tested, but the hunter is responsible for taking the sample to the laboratory and for payment of the test.
Q. Is my animal safe to eat?
A. The sampling and testing procedures established by the DWR are intended only to serve as a method to screen for evidence and prevalence of CWD infection. The test is not meant to provide assurance of meat quality for human consumption.
Q. Should Utah hunters be concerned about CWD?
A. The World Health Organization has stated: "There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans." While there is currently no evidence that CWD affects humans, hunters may wish to take simple precautions when handling deer and elk carcasses, which can also be found in the Big Game Proclamation. Hunters should not harvest animals that appear sick, nor should they eat meat from suspect or positive animals.