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.