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Here’s why Arizona hunters are being asked to turn over animal heads

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking deer and elk hunters to bring them heads of the animals they kill in order to keep a fatal disease out of the state.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a neurodegenerative disease fatal to deer and elk that is transmitted by direct contact.

It has been found in neighboring states like Colorado, New Mexico and Utah and could show up in Arizona if hunters do not properly clean and dispose of the animals they kill, according to a press release.

AZGFD requests the heads be brought to any statewide department office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The preferred method of delivery is to place heads in a heavy-duty plastic trash bag, and keep them cool and out of the sun.

AZGFD has been testing for the disease since 1998 and didn’t find any cases of it in the 1,200-plus deer and elk that were harvested last hunting season, according to the release.

The general Arizona deer hunting season begins on Oct. 25.

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