“FWC Targets High-Risk Meat at State Borders”

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In a recent press release, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced intensified efforts to patrol the Florida-Georgia line, specifically targeting hunters in possession of deer unlawfully and high-risk deer meat. This initiative comes in response to the heightened threat of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Florida.

One notable incident, detailed in the weekly law enforcement report, involved Officer Shope conducting traffic checks at the Georgia line to identify hunters transporting deer meat with high-risk parts, such as bone, into Florida. During a routine stop, Officer Shope discovered deer meat from outside Florida, resulting in the confiscation and subsequent incineration of the bones. The individual was charged with the violation.

The FWC’s strict regulations, implemented in July 2021, prohibit the possession or importation of whole carcasses or high-risk parts of deer, elk, moose, caribou, and related species from outside Florida. These measures replace the previous Executive Order 19-41, reflecting the agency’s commitment to curbing the spread of CWD.

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Hunters planning to venture outside Florida should be aware of these regulations, allowing only specific items like de-boned meat, taxidermy mounts, hides, antlers, skulls, skull caps, and teeth (if soft tissue is removed) to be imported. There is an exception for deer harvested from properties in Georgia or Alabama under the same ownership bisected by the Florida state line.

It’s crucial to recognize that the current rules exclude the permit option available under the previous Executive Order 19-41. These measures aim to safeguard Florida’s deer populations by minimizing the risk of chronic wasting disease introduction into the state. The FWC remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining the health and well-being of Florida’s wildlife.

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