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The 2019 Oregon State Legislature has passed a bill that bans the possession and use of deer and elk urine scent lures that contain or are derived from any cervid urine beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
The typical scent lure mimics a female during breeding season and can attract a bull or buck to a hunter’s position, said a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
Oregon’s ban is in keeping with a recommendation from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), urging states to ban cervid based urine products to limit the spread of CWD, said the press release. These products are also banned in several other states including Alaska and Louisiana.
The bill, HB 2294, is intended to reduce the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to the state’s deer, elk and moose populations, said a press release.
Urine sold commercially as a scent lure is collected from captive cervid facilities; and nationally, CWD continues to be found in captive cervid facilities and animals from these facilities are considered to be at higher risk for CWD, said the press release.
The disease is caused by a protein called a prion that damages the brain of infected animals, causing progressive neurological disease and loss of body condition.
The prions can spread through the animal’s body fluids (including urine, feces and saliva) and through nose-to-nose contact between infected animals, said the press release. Prions shed through bodily fluids can bind to soil minerals and remain infectious for long periods in the environment, spreading to new animals for years as deer and elk come into contact with infected soil and possibly plants containing the prions.
According to ODFW, CWD is untreatable and always fatal.
CWD has never been detected in Oregon’s wildlife, but has been found in free-ranging deer and elk in 26 other states, including several western states, said the press release.
ODFW has been monitoring the state’s deer and elk for CWD for years by testing harvested animals at checkpoints during hunting seasons and roadkill carcasses, said the press release, but has never detected CWD within Oregon. The state has also banned the import of any deer, elk, caribou or moose part containing central nervous system tissue where the prions exist (such as whole heads or spinal columns) into Oregon.
Hunters or businesses who have these products should safely dispose of them by bringing them to an ODFW district office, said the press release. ODFW staff will arrange for any scents collected to be incinerated in an 1800 degree oven, a temperature known to kill the prion that causes CWD.
“It’s important that these products are not poured down a drain or on the ground when they are discarded,” said Colin Gillin, ODFW wildlife veterinarian. “We want to limit the prion that causes the disease from being deposited on the landscape.”
For more information about CWD, visit https://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/health_program/chronic_wasting/

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