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New York Mulls Over Deer Urine Attractant Ban in Response to CWD

Deer urine may soon be banned in New York.

The hunting seasons will be here before you know it. But for New York hunters, they may find themselves with one less tool at their disposal, thanks to chronic wasting disease or CWD.

The Associated Press reports biologists with the Department of Environmental Conservation want to ban the use of deer urine attractants as a way to combat the spread of the deadly neurological disease. Because the prions are present in saliva, feces and urine, some are worried the disease could spread through rut time attractant scents.

And because the prions that cause CWD can potentially leech into soil or onto plants, they can remain a danger to deer for long periods. Since there's no way to test urine products for the disease, biologists are warning to air on the side of caution.

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It isn't the first time this kind of ban has been considered. If enacted, New York would join four other states and two Canadian provinces with similar bans.

The state is taking public comment on the issue until September 15 and many are already voicing their opinions. The news is especially concerning for the deer attractant industry. The Associated Press reports 10 to 15 percent of New York's 275 captive deer farms that collect urine could be affected.

Many farms are already dealing with increased regulations meant to stop the spread of the disease in captive herds.

"We're all for the health of the herd, which is why we partnered with the Archery Trade Association in developing stringent guidelines for collection facilities to minimize the potential for contamination," Tink's spokesman Chip Hunnicutt told the AP.

If the ban does go into place, New York hunters will have to rely on synthetic versions of their favorite attractants going forward.

Many states are ramping up hunter awareness of CWD in the build-up to hunting seasons. Some, like Michigan, have totally re-vamped their deer carcass importation rules in an attempt to help control the disease.