Fayetteville reminds residents not to feed or bait deer

Weight loss is the first sign of chronic wasting disease in cervids. Other symptoms include an abnormal gait, extreme thirst and salivation.

Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

City officials are reminding residents about a new state law that prohibits the baiting and feeding of deer.

The regulation states:

It is unlawful to place or deposit foodstuffs, scents, lures, grains, minerals, pelletized feed, or other materials for the purpose of hunting, attracting, or enticing wildlife for any reason inside the CWD Management Zone.

CWD stands for chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease that affects cervids, members of the deer and elk family. It was first discovered in Colorado in 1967 and has since spread to 26 states, including Arkansas.

The disease is caused by misshapen proteins, and is similar to mad cow disease in cattle. The slowly progressing disease is always fatal.

The CWD Management Zone was established after the first case of chronic wasting disease was found in Arkansas. It designates which counties must adhere to the regulations.

In coordination with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the City Prosecutor’s Office, Fayetteville’s code compliance program will respond to reports of deer feeding. When a report is received, officers will inspect the property where the feeding was reported. If evidence is found, a certified letter will be sent to the property owner seeking compliance. If the owner remains out of compliance, the case will be forwarded to the prosecutor.

Reports of deer feeding can be made online or by phone and can remain anonymous. For more information or to make a report, visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/ohdeer.

» Read about CWD in Northwest Arkansas in our story from earlier this year