CWD regulations in New York

Due to the regular amending of regulations in New York, it is recommended that before hunting you check these CWD regulations, as well as those of any other states or provinces in which you will be hunting or traveling through while transporting cervid carcasses. The contact information for New York can be seen below:

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Testing Laboratories in New York

New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University
Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory College of Veterinary Medicine Cornell University Upper Tower Rd Ithaca, NY 14853

Locations Where CWD Was Found

Counties (Accurate as of 2/2016)

Oneida County

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Category Archives: New York

NY – New York State Releases Final Plan to Minimize Risk of Chronic Wasting Disease for Deer and Moose Herds

DEC and DAM to Implement Strongest Efforts in Nation to Combat CWD

New York is the Only State to Eliminate CWD after Discovery in Wild Populations

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner (Ag & Markets) Richard Ball today announced that the state has finalized the New York State Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Risk Minimization Plan. The plan proposes regulatory changes and new actions to minimize the risk of CWD entering or spreading in New York State.

The plan is designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose herds in New York, as well as captive cervids including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities.

“New York is leading the nation in protecting our valuable deer and moose populations and ensuring our hunting and outdoor recreation economy continues to thrive,” said DEC Commissioner Seggos. “This important plan streamlines operations and proposes strong actions to prevent the introduction of CWD, and is the result of a strong partnership effort of sporting groups, deer farmers, and other stakeholders. I commend the DEC and Ag and Markets staff and all our partners for their assistance in developing this action plan and look forward to working with them to implement these important strategies.”
Ag & Markets Commissioner Ball said, “Working with DEC, Ag & Markets is proud to have assisted with the development of critical disease prevention measures for our deer and moose populations. Our dedicated veterinarians and veterinary technicians play integral roles in controlling and preventing CWD in deer herds across the State through diligent surveillance and testing, as do our deer farmers who understand the importance of complying with these regulations in order to protect our wildlife and their own herds.”

DEC biologists worked with Ag & Markets veterinarians and wildlife health experts at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University to craft a comprehensive set of disease prevention measures that are among the most advanced CWD prevention strategies in the nation. The plan updates reporting requirements, improves communication to stakeholders, and simplifies regulations to reduce confusion while protecting New York’s valuable natural resources.

In addition to conducting joint inspections of cervid farms and increased record sharing among agencies, the plan will prohibit the importation of certain parts from any CWD-susceptible cervid taken outside of New York and includes specific restrictions on what will be allowed into the state.

The plan also calls for increased public participation in the state’s efforts, and DEC and Ag & Markets are urging hunters and citizens to:

  • Report sick or abnormally behaving deer;
  • Do not feed wild deer;
  • Dispose of carcasses properly at approved landfills;
  • Report violators;
  • Use alternatives to urine-based lures or use synthetic forms of deer urine.

New York State ranks 6th in the nation in white-tailed deer hunting with more than 575,000 hunters harvesting an average of 210,000 deer each year. New York’s white tailed deer population estimates range from 900,000 to 1 million. Wild white-tailed deer hunting represents a $1.5 billion industry in the state.

Chronic wasting disease, a fatal brain disease found in certain species of the deer family, was discovered in Oneida County wild and captive white-tailed deer in 2005. More than 49,000 deer have been tested statewide since 2002, and there have been no reoccurrences of the disease since 2005. New York is still the only state to have eliminated CWD once it was found in wild populations. Other states have not been as fortunate. In North America, CWD has been found in 24 states and three Canadian provinces, including neighboring Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Bryan J. Burhans, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Game Commission, said, “CWD is an ecological disaster unfolding before our eye. There is no doubt that CWD threatens to future of wildlife conservation in Pennsylvania. We applaud the New York DEC and Ag & markets for their proactive efforts to develop a CWD risk minimization plan to reduce the opportunity for this dreaded disease to become established in NY. We are all in this fight together.”

Senator Tom O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “These are critical actions to help protect New York State’s deer and moose populations. I applaud the state for working in partnership with Cornell University’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center and with fundamental input from sporting organizations and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive response.”

Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch, said, “I applaud DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and Ag & Markets Commissioner Richard Ball for their continued efforts to prevent the spread of CWD in New York. To date, we are the only state to have stopped the spread of CWD after discovering it in wild populations. This is largely because of the dedication and hard work of the various biologists, veterinarians and wildlife experts who have worked tirelessly in the field to study and implement strategies to prevent further spread of the disease. I would like to thank all the stakeholders involved in combating CWD, your hard work is crucial to protecting the health of New York’s wild and captive deer and moose herds.”

François Elvinger, Executive Director of the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said, “We applaud the DEC and Ag & Markets on their CWD Risk Minimization Plan. As a collaborator on this plan, our wildlife health experts provided key scientific insight into the best practices for disease prevention. The AHDC has been a key partner for both agencies over the years, through our work as the New York Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and with the New York State Wildlife Health Program. For disease surveillance in 2017, we have already tested more than 2,000 wild and captive deer and elk, with 1,000 more to go. Chronic wasting disease can be devastating to wild populations and captive animal owners, so we want to make sure we do everything possible to keep it out of the Empire State.”

Jason Kemper, Chairman of the NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board, said, “The adoption of the CWD Risk Minimization Plan is an important moment in the protection of our deer herds now and into the future. CFAB applauds DEC and Ag & Markets efforts to reduce the likelihood of this devastating disease entering New York and implementation of measures to minimize its spread if detected. This new plan is a much needed blueprint to guide agency actions in preventing the impacts that CWD would have on our deer herd, our hunters, and everyone who cares about this magnificent resource in New York.”

Chuck Parker, President of the New York State Conservation Council, said, “The New York State Conservation Council appreciates the proactive approach that DEC and Ag & Markets have taken to date that helped in preventing the spread of CWD into New York. Moving forward, today’s release of the CWD Risk Minimization Management Plan will give our state a set of sound and flexible deer management/CWD prevention guidelines that will best serve to protect our deer population. White-tailed deer are highly valued by all residents and our most popular game species. Preventing CWD from becoming established ensures a healthy herd into the future.”

Chronic wasting disease was first identified in Colorado in 1967, and is caused by infectious prions (misfolded proteins) that cannot be broken down by the body’s normal processes. These prions cause holes to form in the brain. Prions are found in deer parts and products, including urine and feces and can remain infectious in soil for years and even be taken up into plant tissues.

Chronic wasting disease is in the same family of diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) as “mad cow” disease in cattle. To date, there have been no known cases of CWD in humans or in domestic farm animals, however, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that no one knowingly eat CWD-positive venison.

The final CWD plan is available on DEC’s website.

End of article.
The plan can be seen directly here:

DEC Amends New York’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Regulation in Response to Discovery of Disease in Ohio

Hunters Urged to Check CWD Information on DEC’s Website Prior to Hunting Outside of New York to Keep New York Herds Healthy

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) amended its Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) regulation, effective today, to prohibit people from importing into New York certain parts of white-tailed deer, elk or moose taken in the state of Ohio, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens announced today.

In late October, the Ohio Department of Agriculture confirmed a case of CWD in a white-tailed deer on a deer farm in Holmes County, OH – the first positive CWD case in the state. CWD has also been confirmed in captive deer on multiple farms in Pennsylvania and in the wild deer herd in that state.

Hunters who plan to hunt white-tailed deer, elk or moose in Ohio, Pennsylvania or any other state where CWD has been confirmed must remove the following parts from the animal before the carcass can be imported into New York: brain, eyes, spinal cord, tonsils, intestinal tract, spleen and retropharyngeal lymph nodes (located deep in the head, between the windpipe and base of the skull). Hunters who plan to hunt outside of New York are urged to check DEC’s website for additional information about CWD and importation restrictions. Complete information and updates on CWD are available on the Department’s website,

CWD is a highly contagious and deadly brain and central nervous system disease that affects deer, elk and moose and other members of the deer family. CWD is always fatal to deer; there are no vaccines or treatment for the disease. The agent that causes the disease is called a prion. Prions are found in the lymph nodes, brain and spinal tissues of infected animals. The prions can be shed in the urine, saliva and feces of an infected animal. Also, certain parts of a CWD infected animal remain infectious on the landscape in the soil for many years.

New York State has a tremendous white-tailed deer herd and a small, but expanding, moose population. Preventing the introduction of CWD into New York from hunter-killed carcasses is vital to protecting the health of New York’s deer and moose populations. The most effective way to protect New York’s deer and moose herds is to keep CWD infectious material out of the state, and hunters play an important role in this effort.

It is important that hunters who hunt deer, elk or moose outside of New York know the status of CWD in the state or Province where they hunt and plan accordingly. It is illegal to import a whole carcass from CWD positive states. It is also illegal to ship the entire head of a CWD-susceptible animal from a CWD positive state into New York. To comply with DEC’s CWD regulation, hunters should consider de-boning their deer, elk or moose before entering New York.

No Detection of Chronic Wasting Disease in New York Deer

Testing of more than 2,500 samples of deer statewide found no deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. CWD continues to pose a threat to New York’s wild white-tailed deer as Pennsylvania discovered CWD in both captive white-tailed deer and wild, free-ranging white-tailed deer in 2012. Since 2002, DEC annually has tested hunter-harvested white-tailed deer for CWD. The last confirmed case of CWD in New York was in 2005.

“Under Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York State hunting relies on a healthy deer population and CWD could devastate the state’s wild deer herd,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “DEC thanks cooperating hunters, meat processors and taxidermists that contributed samples for testing. Successful CWD surveillance depends on all of us. By testing both sick and healthy-appearing deer, DEC looks to identify the earliest intrusion of CWD into New York.”

Public reporting of sick and abnormal deer throughout the year is also important because these animals are collected and tested for CWD. DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit conducts full necropsies (animal autopsy) to determine the source of illness or cause of death on many species, including deer.

In 2012, DEC revised the state CWD surveillance program to include information on population density, deer age and sex, and risk factors, including border counties with Pennsylvania. The goal was to collect samples from the highest risk areas. For further details on the initiation and timeline of DEC’s CWD surveillance program, visit DEC’s website.

Hunters going to Pennsylvania and other CWD-positive states are not permitted to bring back whole carcasses. Prions, the protein that causes CWD, concentrates in tissues like the brain and spinal cord and remain infectious to other deer. It is permitted to bring meat and cleaned skull caps and capes back from a successful hunt. The purpose of this is to prevent the importation of CWD-infected material.

CWD is a fatal disease of deer, elk and moose that is now found in 22 states. It is in the family of diseases known as “transmissible spongiform encephalopathies” or TSEs, which includes “Mad Cow” disease. No human cases of CWD have ever been reported, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control.

DEC continues to conduct its educational campaign to inform hunters and the public about CWD. Prevention is the only proven management strategy for wildlife diseases. Therefore, hunters are encouraged to protect New York’s deer herd by knowing and following the regulations for hunting outside of New York. Deboning meat will remove the highly infectious parts. In addition to carcasses, urine can also contain prions that can infect deer. Avoid using deer urine or choose synthetic alternatives. Prions can bind to soil and remain infectious to wild deer for years.

Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of fishing and hunting licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions. This year, Governor Cuomo unveiled the NYS Adventure License, which allows outdoor enthusiasts, boaters, anglers and hunters to consolidate their recreation licenses and benefits onto their New York State Driver’s License, and the NYS Adventure License Plates, featuring nine plate designs available for free to those buying new lifetime hunting, fishing or park licenses in 2014.

In support of this initiative, this year Governor Cuomo has proposed creating 50 new land access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have gone untapped until now. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the Governor’s 2014-15 budget proposes to: include $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries; limit the liability of landowners who allow recreational activities on their properties, which could open up vast, untapped resources for additional hunting, fishing and many other recreational pursuits; and allow crossbow hunting once again in New York State.

It is also illegal to feed deer. Concentrating deer at a feed or bait pile concentrates animals and helps spread disease. Report sick deer or deer behaving abnormally to your nearest DEC office. For a listing of regional DEC offices, visit DEC’s website.

Regulations Issued to Protect NYS Deer Population from Chronic Wasting Disease

Emergency Measures Restrict Importation of Certain Deer Species Disease Could Devastate NY’s Deer Population and Result in Severe Economic Repercussions on the State’s Sportsman Industry The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation today announced emergency regulations to prohibit the importation of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) susceptible deer into the State. The protection of the state’s deer population is important not only to the balance of the ecosystem but also is critical to supporting the hundreds of thousands of sportsmen and women whose recreational activities contribute some $780 million in economic impact statewide. “These emergency measures will help mitigate the risk of CWD taking a firm hold here in New York State,” said State Acting Agriculture Commissioner James B. Bays. “I’m a hunter and an avid outdoorsman, and keeping New York’s wild and captive deer herds healthy will help protect multi-million dollar industries that create jobs and provide recreational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. From our agency’s perspective, the most important thing that we can do is limit the exposure of deer to CWD. That’s exactly what these regulations will do.” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, “New York State has a long tradition of deer hunting and deer management. It is imperative that we remain vigilant and prevent Chronic Wasting Disease from entering the State. These regulations will bolster existing protections already in place in New York and help to maintain a vibrant population of our most sought after game species. This show of stewardship help will ensure that sportsmen and sportswomen continue to have great deer hunting opportunities throughout the state.” The emergency regulations provide a ban on imports of specific species between November 16, 2013 and August 1, 2018. These species include Rocky Mountain elk, red deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, sika deer, and moose. Currently 19 states including New York prohibit the importation of live deer. CWD is a fatal, neurologic disease to species of deer caused by a disease agent called a prion, which eventually destroys the brain tissue of infected animals. Prions are shed by infected animals in their saliva, feces and urine. The time from infection to the first outward signs of illness (animals appear weak and unsteady) may be two years or longer. Soil contaminated with CWD prions cannot be decontaminated and can remain as a source of CWD exposure to wild deer for years. At the present time, the only accepted means of diagnosis must be performed after an animal suspected of being infected with CWD is dead. The primary tool for preventing spread of CWD is the USDA Herd Certification program, which requires herds that wish to ship animals interstate to undergo a five year certification process involving surveillance testing and maintenance of herd inventories. While the program has helped slow the spread of CWD, it cannot guarantee that certified herds will remain CWD-free. Despite the best efforts of qualified animal health professionals, CWD has arisen in four new states (PA, MO, MN, IA) since 2010 and all were participating in the Herd Certification program. The source of the most recent detection of CWD in both captive and wild deer in Pennsylvania remains unknown twelve months after the initial detection. Farms in other states purchased animals from the original infected herd in Pennsylvania; some escaped and some remain unaccounted for. Absent these regulations, states with potentially infected deer populations would be allowed to export deer to New York. “If we continue to allow imports, we could receive CWD exposed deer or elk that originated in one state and subsequently passed through a facility in a third state,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. David Smith. “That’s not a risk we’re willing to take here in New York. CWD is extremely difficult to detect and control and once present, the costs to the wild deer population, captive deer owners, and the entire state are high. We do not want this disease proliferating throughout our state’s valuable wild populations and captive deer herds. New York will continue to work with stakeholders and animal health professionals as these important regulations move forward.” The costs of states to deal with outbreaks in CWD in terms of resources and tax dollars are tremendous. Prevalence rates in some parts of Wisconsin are over 20 percent just 10 years after the introduction of CWD into the state, costing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources $14 million the first year alone, with much of the money pulled from other wildlife programs. Furthermore, the economic impact that CWD could have on New York State is considerable. Based on the most recent data, New York’s wild deer herds have a $780.5 million economic impact in the state, while the economic impact of captive deer is $13.2 million. There are an estimated 823,000 hunting licenses in New York and the state ranks third in the nation in residential hunters. In 2011, New York was fourth in the nation in spending by hunters and generated an estimated $290 million in state and local taxes. According to the latest data, there are 433 facilities across New York State that currently hold captive deer. Of these facilities, 25 imported a total of 400 CWD-susceptible deer from January 1, 2011 through March 29, 2013. New York will still permit the importation of deer semen for artificial insemination. Zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums will also be allowed to still import CWD-susceptible species. Bruce L. Akey, MS DVM, executive director, Animal Health Diagnostic Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, said: “The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) includes internationally recognized experts on the transmission of disease and the ecology of diseases in wildlife populations. Chronic Wasting Disease is a serious threat to New York’s wild white-tailed deer herd. With recent confirmation of CWD in Pennsylvania, our disease specialists are very concerned that CWD may once again be detected in New York. It is entirely appropriate that New York’s regulatory agencies, the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, take all reasonable measures to keep CWD out of New York. Given that there is no test currently available to detect CWD in live animals prior to movement, strong prevention measures are the only reasonable and economical way of managing CWD. Once CWD is confirmed in a population of white-tailed deer, the ecological and economic consequences will be catastrophic. We applaud the recent regulation prohibiting the importation of live captive white-tailed deer, the highest known risk factor for CWD.” Chuck Parker, president, New York State Conservation Council, said: “The New York State Conservation Council takes pride in being a major voice for the Sportsmen in New York for over 80 years. All of our positions and policies are the majority consensus of our membership. The voting representatives of the NYSCC through the affiliations of their local clubs represent upwards of 330,000 sportsmen in this state. The whitetail deer population in New York is enjoyed by sportsmen and outdoor enthusiast alike. The tradition of hunting has a proud history in New York and still offers an excellent opportunity for the sportsmen today. Along with the opportunity to hunt deer comes the economic impact to the state of nearly $800 million from deer hunting. Chronic Wasting Disease, if it was to be found in our wild deer population would create a serious environmental, recreational, and economic impact in New York. The New York State Conservation Council is strongly committed to supporting actions both by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that Chronic Wasting Disease never again is found in New York.” Jason Kemper, chairman of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board, said: “The New York State Conservation Fund Advisory Board makes recommendations to state agencies on state government plans, policies, and programs affecting fish and wildlife. The wild white-tail deer population is extremely valuable to the State of New York, generating about $780 million annually by hunting and associated businesses. License sales associated with deer hunting fund a majority of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s fish and wildlife management programs. The health and integrity of New York’s wild deer herd is vital to both our natural and hunting heritage as well as our economy. We applaud actions taken by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement all reasonable measures to prevent CWD from ever again occurring in New York.” Mike Fishman, president of the New York Chapter of The Wildlife Society, said: “The New York Chapter of The Wildlife Society strongly supports the joint regulatory efforts of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to restrict the import of live, captive deer and other cervids to New York to prevent the reintroduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD poses a significant threat to our wild deer populations. Reintroduction of the disease could have disastrous consequences on an important ecological and economic resource in New York. This restriction is a necessary conservation measure to protect a very important wildlife resource.” Alan White, executive director of the Catskill Center, said: “The Catskill Center supports efforts by both the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the Department of Environmental Conservation to reduce the chances that CWD would ever again be found in New York State. We support the newly proposed regulation to prohibit the importation of live captive white-tailed deer from out of state. These captive deer are a known risk factor for the spread of CWD. Deer hunting has deep and rich traditions in the Catskill Mountains, and it is vital that we ensure that the health of New York’s wild white-tailed deer herd is not compromised by CWD.” A public hearing is scheduled to discuss the emergency regulations at noon on December 19, 2013 at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, 10B Airline Drive, Albany.

Another CWD-Free Season

Efforts continued with CWD surveillance through sampling of hunter killed deer statewide and mandatory deer checks in the Oneida-Madison County CWD Containment Area. Despite testing approximately 7,470 deer (including more than 1,400 deer from the CWD Containment Area), no cases were detected. CWD is a rare neurological disease that affects the brains of deer, elk and moose, causing the animals to become emaciated, lose body functions and eventually die. CWD surveillance began in New York in 2002, with increased efforts since 2005 after the disease was detected in five captive and two wild deer in Oneida County. Since 2002, over 26,250 samples have been collected throughout the state, including almost 5,300 samples from the Oneida-Madison County CWD Containment Area, and no additional cases have been detected.

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