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Proper deer carcass disposal

Proper deer carcass disposal

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County residents can dispose of double-bagged deer carcasses at the transfer station, county officials said last week.

In late August, state wildlife veterinarian Megan Kirchgessner contacted the county seeking input and assistance in disposing of deer carcasses. In response to the detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a Culpeper deer back in November, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) implemented a number of measures to protect the state’s deer. CWD is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose that causes a spongy degeneration of the brain. Because it’s contagious, it’s important to protect uninfected deer from infected animals, including their carcasses.

Among the measures is a ban on the transportation of whole deer carcasses or specific high-risk parts out of Culpeper, Madison and Orange counties. Kirchgessner said the measure is standard for states with CWD and lined landfill have been shown as suitable means for disposal of infected carcasses. She said part of the proposal would be allowing local hunters, including non-residents, to use the Madison County Transfer Station for disposal which would be supplemented by a DGIF supplied dumpster. She said similar requests were made to Culpeper and Orange counties. She said only double-bagged deer waste would be allowed and, according to reported deer harvest numbers, an average of 35 hunter processed deer carcasses could be expected per week of hunting season. Similar agreement exist in Frederick and Shenandoah counties.

However, local officials have concerns regarding the proposal including smells, increased hauling and disposal costs and abuse by users not double-bagging the waste. Also, Updike, which handles the transfer station, previously indicated that it prefers to not handle dead animals and the county’s policy states that the transfer station only accepts waste generated inside the county.

So, while county residents can dispose of their double-bagged deer carcasses at the transfer station, supervisors said those outside the county cannot. In the meantime, VDGIF is seeking a location for a disposal box within the county. A suggestion to locate the box at the fire hall was turned down.

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