PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota panel that oversees hunting is looking at how to keep chronic wasting disease in check among the state’s elk, whitetail and mule deer herds.
The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission is considering new rules that would take effect next July. A public hearing is scheduled for September 5 at the Spearfish Holiday Inn.
The proposal would regulate how animals are transported and handled throughout the hauling, processing and taxidermy processes.
According to an official draft given to the commission, “The known CWD endemic area is currently restricted to southwestern South Dakota and includes the counties of Custer, Fall River, Lawrence and Pennington counties.”
The summary said CWD has been confirmed in deer within several units in the Black Hills, Custer State Park and a half-dozen on the prairie. It’s also been confirmed in elk within six Black Hills units, Custer State Park and one prairie unit.
There’s no known antidote for chronic wasting disease. It spreads among deer and elk by direct contact and exposure to places contaminated with CWD prions, an abnormal protein.
“The unnatural dispersal of CWD-infected cervid carcasses from the location of harvest within a known CWD endemic area to places such as a hunter’s home, taxidermist or game processor in a portion of the state not known to have CWD, is a significant concern,” the draft said.