Frequently Asked Questions

Wildlife Diseases

Is "Mad Cow Disease" something I should worry about when eating venison?

There have been no known instances of chronic wasting disease (CWD) or mad deer disease in Texas white-tailed deer, according to governmental health and wildlife officials responsible for monitoring animal and human disease issues.

In a joint statement issued in 1999, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW), Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and Texas Department of Health (TDH) officials concurred there are no known CWD cases in Texas.

The agencies dismissed recent media reports suggesting that venison consumption in Texas could be linked to Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD), the rare and fatal disease in humans that sparked a "mad cow disease" scare in Great Britain in 1996. CJD is a human form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, a group of diseases, which includes CWD, "mad cow disease" (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in cattle and scrapie in sheep.