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Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a fatal disease of the central nervous system in deer and elk. While related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease), CWD is a separate disease known to infect only deer and elk.

Learn more about this emerging disease.

Frequently Asked Questions
Get background information in laymen's language about CWD and the situation in Illinois.

Directions for Submission of Hunter-Killed Deer Specimens for Chronic Wasting Disease testing
The Illinois Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Laboratories are offering CWD testing. Test results will be available within three to six weeks of submission, and it is suggested that the meat be frozen until test results are known. Submission Form

CWD Testing Exceptions For Program Herds

Handling Carcasses and Venison
Advice for deer hunters and meat processors on how to field dress deer and cut up carcasses to avoid prions.

Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies
Read about the family of diseases that includes CWD and BSE.


Questions or comments.

Copyright © 2001
State of Illinois Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 19281, State Fairgrounds
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
(217) 782-2172
(217) 524-6858 TTY