Chronic Wasting Disease


All hunters should properly dispose of their harvested carcasses, particularly animals taken in the CWD Risk Area. Where possible, debone meat making sure you keep the required evidence of sex and species. Hunters may prefer to avoid the spinal cord when deboning. Leave remainder of carcass at the kill site. If the carcass is transported elsewhere, remove all useable meat, then burn, bury, or dispose of the remains in a landfill.

ATTN: Hunters – Information on CWD Testing and Freezers

Current areas of mandatory deer head submission, the locations of 24-hour freezers where hunters can drop off deer heads during fall rifle seasons, and instructions for filling out CWD labels can be found here:

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) involves fatal damage to the brain in members of the deer family, including:

  • Mule Deer
  • White-tailed Deer
  • Moose
  • Elk

CWD was first documented in a wild deer in Alberta in September 2005. The disease spilled over from infected deer in Saskatchewan and entered local deer populations in eastern Alberta. It continues to spread westward in deer populations throughout eastern and central Alberta.

Since 1998 Alberta tracked the occurrence and distribution of CWD in wild deer, primarily using samples from hunter-harvested deer. However, the program will test the head of any cervid legally harvested anywhere in Alberta.

Hunter CWD Surveillance - What You Can Do To Help

Hunters play an important and essential role in Alberta’s CWD wildlife surveillance program. To document the occurrence and spread of CWD, the Government of Alberta relies heavily on the submission of hunter-killed deer heads along with the geographic coordinates of each kill site.

The information gathered from hunter submissions helps determine the geographic distribution of CWD in Alberta, and contributes to ongoing research and improved understanding of the disease.

For more detailed information about CWD in Alberta and what you can do to help with CWD surveillance, visit the Government of Alberta website at:

Updated: Sep 29, 2023