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Carcass Transport

Transporting Carcasses Into Virginia

The movement of infected carcass parts has likely contributed to the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) across North America. Certain parts of deer carcasses, most notably the brain and spinal cord, may be heavily contaminated with the infectious agent that causes CWD.  Deer may shed prions in their urine, feces, and saliva years before any external symptoms become visible. As such, the Department restricts the movement of whole deer carcasses and certain carcass parts from deer harvested anywhere outside Virginia.  Effective August 1, 2019, importation or possession of whole deer carcasses or any parts not included in the list below originating from anywhere outside of Virginia is now prohibited.

Carcass parts that can legally be transported into Virginia from anywhere* include:

  • Finished taxidermy products
  • Boned-out cut and wrapped meat
  • Quarters of meat with no spinal column or head
  • Hides or capes with no skull attached
  • Cleaned (no brain tissue attached) skull or skull plates with or without antlers attached
  • Clean antlers with no meat or other tissues attached
  • Upper canine teeth with no root tissue attached

All of the above must be labeled with species, state/province of origin, and name and contact information for the person who killed the animal or possesses the allowed parts in Virginia.

Transporting Carcasses Out of Virginia

Virginia is a CWD-positive state, therefore most states have restricted the importation of deer and elk carcasses and certain carcass parts from animals harvested in Virginia. All out-of-state hunters headed to Virginia to deer hunt should check the carcass import or transport regulations in their home state.  A summary of state-by-state carcass transport and import regulations is accessible via the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website or the CWD Alliance website.

Whole deer carcasses or deer parts that contain brain and/or spinal tissue may be transported out of a Virginia DMA directly to authorized locations in another state/province (please see that state’s/province’s website or the CWD Alliance website).  Prior to transporting a carcass out of state from a Virginia DMA, it is the hunter’s responsibility to confirm these authorized locations with the destination state/province and to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and restrictions related to CWD, to include importation and transportation of carcasses along their route of travel to their destination.   Whole deer carcasses or deer parts that contain brain and/or spinal tissue may not be transported through any part of Virginia not included in a DMA.