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Know CWD website

Know CWD [exit DNR] General information about CWD in Wisconsin including common misconceptions.

Contact information
For information on CWD, contact:
Timothy Marien
CWD wildlife biologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-264-6046

Safe handling procedures

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that to date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. Nonetheless, as a precaution, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends that people only consume venison from healthy-appearing deer with test results indicating that CWD was not detected. This is consistent with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) [exit DNR] and World Health Organization (WHO) [exit DNR].

Information from the Wisconsin Division of Public Health is available through Venison and CWD: What Hunters Should Know [PDF].

Processing your deer

There are extra precautions people can take while processing their deer to reduce exposure to prions from venison. Prions are the abnormal proteins associated with CWD.

CWD positive deer from the 2010 season.
CWD positive deer. Photo courtesy of Mark Smith.

Field dressing or gutting your deer

  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Minimize contact with the brain, spinal cord, spleen and lymph nodes.
  • Use knives and utensils dedicated for field dressing.
  • Remove all internal organs.

Cutting up your deer

  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Keep meat from individual deer separate.
  • Minimize contact with brain or spinal tissues.
  • Do not cut through the spinal column except to remove the head. Use a knife designated only for this purpose.
  • Remove all the fat and connective tissue. This will also remove the lymph nodes.

Cleaning up

  • Dispose of waste in a landfill that accepts deer waste.
  • Clean knives and other equipment by soaking them for an hour in a 50/50 solution of bleach and water.
  • Wipe down counters and other work areas with a 50/50 solution of bleach and water, and let them air-dry.

Reducing the spread

This document includes recommended practices to reduce and prevent the spread of CWD [PDF] through voluntary implementation by Wisconsin citizens. Through the use of these recommendations the potential influence of human related introductions of CWD may be reduced.

Additional information

Last revised: Thursday September 21 2017