Lawmaker considers incineration instead of burial in fight against CWD in deer population

Tennessee News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There is another idea to help contain the spread of an alarming disease in Tennessee’s deer population; incineration instead of burial for the harvested animal.  

It comes from a state lawmaker whose district is in the area most affected by CWD, which is officially known as Chronic Wasting Disease.

Some counties in Tennessee estimate that 10% of their deer population is afflicted with CWD.

Tennessee House Assistant Majority Leader Ron Gant represents three West Tennessee counties with those CWD numbers for the deer population.

He hopes to keep the deer parts potentially with CWD from being buried in a clay-lined pit like they now are in Rossville, Tennessee in Fayette County just east of Memphis.

“Constituents in my district are opposed to this and several weeks ago, we raised concerns about this pit being located there in Rossville,” said Rep. Gant late last month.

What he wants to do is shut down the site and get a million dollars in emergency funding for an incinerator in southwest Tennessee to burn deer the parts.

Gant says the incinerator “would heat to 1800-degrees and kill the (CWD) disease itself.”

Tennessee Wildlife and Resource Agency (TWRA) officials maintain the process of burying the deer parts helps contain the CWD, but a spokesperson says the state agency is willing to listen to see if an incinerator would be viable.

Rep. Gants says more meetings are planned here in Nashville about the best ways to contain the CWD in deer.

He hopes the West Tennessee incinerator could become a pilot program for other parts of the state who might deal with CWD. 
Maintaining an incinerator from year to year and where the funds would come from are among the questions.  

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