The first known elk to test positive for the degenerative chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the state of Texas was confirmed last week.

The elk was discovered during enhanced surveillance at one of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Panhandle Containment Zone check stations.  Currently speaking, successful hunters who harvest a mule deer, elk or white-tailed deer within these specific containment zones are required to bring their animals for inspection within 24 hours of harvest.

“We commend all hunters and land owners who are submitting samples in the surveillance zone,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC executive director. “Surveillance is critical in detecting and preventing the inadvertent spread of CWD.”

These regulations were enacted on the eve of deer hunting season in early November in an effort to both study and contain the spread of CWD after a mule deer tested positive for the disease in Hartley County last year.

Those choosing not to submit their kills will be subject to penalties on a case-by-case basis, rules TPWD Game Warden and Public Information Officer Mike Wheat believe should be enforced.

“There are rules set in place, if you kill something in that zone you are required by law to take it to a check station,” TPWD Game Warden and Public Information Officer Mike Wheat said. “You can’t take (an animal) out unless it’s quartered, wrapped in plastic or boned.”

Those refusing to comply are set to face a Class C misdemeanor, resulting in fines of upwards of $500.

H/T: Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association