A discovery earlier this year in northwestern Pennsylvania, not far from the New York border, about a deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), has the New York State Department of …
A discovery earlier this year in northwestern Pennsylvania, not far from the New York border, about a deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), has the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) concerned and on high alert.
DEC stated that the key component in keeping CWD out of New York State is relying on hunters. Jeremy Hurst, DEC Big Game Unit Leader said, “We want to make sure hunters are thinking about the risks and consequences of CWD. I know that we tell the story every year, and people are tired of hearing it, but with the recent detection of CWD at a captive facility in northern Pennsylvania, it just shows how important it is for both hunters and our state wildlife agency, our state AG agency to work together to keep New York CWD free. Hunters need to know and recognize their role and play their part. That part is for anyone that is hunting out of state to not bring back deer parts that could be infected with CWD.”
Hurst goes on to say, “We just need folks to take CWD seriously, and that goes for hunters heading for places like northeastern states and Canada, where moose and caribou are targeted, or out west where hunters pursue elk. Any cervid, deer, caribou, reindeer, elk, moose, any deer species that are harvested outside of New York, hunters can not bring that animal back whole. That request is becoming more common. More and more states are demanding that.”
Hurst added, “Even though we don’t have any reason to suspect that CWD is present in the moose population in Newfoundland, the fact that it could be and that we want consistent rules everywhere is the reason behind that blanket prohibition.”
Hurst concluded, “There’s an increased need for surveillance and indemnification of captive facilities when there’s detection. But I think the biggest benefit of having a national approach is that it would provide consistency across the country. There’s so much inconsistency now for hunters that are traveling out of state or coming in to a new state, for approaches. Having some national effort is always a good thing.”
For more information about CWD, including cervid transport regulations, visit DEC’s CWD website at: dec.ny.gov/animals/7191.html.
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