deer and hunters

New York State Hits its 11th Year with Zero Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer

No new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been found in New York State in 11 years which is great news for hunters.

After another season of random testing of deer by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) there have been no cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) detected.

With more than 2,400 whitetails tested last season and continuous testing over the last 11 years, New York officials have shown that deer remained free of CWD. With over 40,000 deer being tested since 2002 there has only been one incident that occurred in 2005.

In 2005 CWD was detected in a captive deer and some wild deer in Oneida County, but after an aggressive response and campaign by the DEC, the threat was eliminated.

CWD is a disease that can be found in deer, moose and elk populations and is incurable with 100% fatalities if passed from animal to animal.

DEC commissioner, Basil Seggos, had this to say about their efforts to combat CWD:

"Preventing the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease in New York State is among DEC's top wildlife priorities. We're working hard to ensure the health of our deer herd and to protect the recreational and viewing opportunities deer provide. We recognize that hunters play an important role in keeping CWD out of New York, because the most effective way to protect New York's deer herd is to keep out CWD".

The DEC has developed a state interagency team that is ready to respond to outbreaks of future CWD but provide some simple guidelines to reduce the risks and give this advice to hunters:

  • Do not feed wild deer with feed as it has the animals concentrate and could spread a CWD outbreak more quickly
  • Do not use deer urine lures for hunting as they could be contaminated
  • Dispose of your deer carcass by putting it into the official waste management stream where it will be disposed in a landfill
  • When bringing out of state deer meat in ensure it is deboned or quartered to remove the higher risk animal parts such as the brain and spine

It is a good news story for New York deer hunters and the DEC will continue to monitor for and be ready to combat CWD.