Dept. of Health warns against eating deer meat in counties affec - - Columbia, South Carolina

Dept. of Health warns against eating deer meat in counties affected by CWD

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

The Mississippi Department of Health is telling people not to eat the deer meat in counties possibly affected by Chronic Wasting Disease.

This disease is found in white tailed deer. A white-tailed deer in Issaquena County tested positive for the disease on January 25.

Effectively immediately, supplemental feeding is banned in the following counties:  Claiborne, Hinds, Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo

RELATED: Chronic Wasting Disease confirmed in a Mississippi white-tailed deer

Chronic Wasting Disease is a disease found in the brain and nervous system in deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family. It is similar to "mad cow" disease and is always deadly when it infects an animal.

So far, this disease only affects animals and not humans. However, health officials say it could be spread to people if they ate an infected deer.

That's why the health department is warning people in these affected counties to avoid eating deer meat. 

As a precaution, the CDC now recommends that hunters harvesting deer from areas with reported CWD should strongly consider having those animals tested before eating the meat.  However, CWD cannot be positively detected in muscle tissue such as processed meat. 

To be as safe as possible and prevent human exposure, health officials say that hunters should consider not eating venison from deer harvested within the CWD Management Zone as defined by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries, and Parks.

Here are the guidelines from the Mississippi Department of Health.

  • Do not shoot, handle or eat meat from a deer that appears sick.
  • Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing your deer.
  • Bone out the meat from your animal. Don’t saw through bone, and avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
  • Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
  • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes.)
  • Avoid consuming the meat from any animal that tests positive for the disease.
  • If you have your deer commercially processed, request that your animal is processed individually, without meat from other animals being added to meat from your animal.

For more information regarding CWD in Mississippi, call the Department at (601) 432-2199.

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