New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Erin M. Crotty today announced a series of statewide public meetings to inform the public of measures being taken by the State to prevent the introduction of chronic wasting disease (CWD) into New York. The meetings will aid in DEC’s development of permanent regulations for CWD.

DEC has enacted temporary regulations to reduce the likelihood of chronic wasting disease occurring in New York, along with other measures to reduce possible methods of transmission of CWD and other communicable deer diseases. DEC is in the process of developing permanent regulations, based on the best scientific information available.

“Although extensive sampling has not detected chronic wasting disease in New York State, we have taken precautionary steps to safeguard our white-tailed deer population from the threat of this disease,” Commissioner Crotty said. “The meetings will present the most current information available on CWD and provide an opportunity for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts and other members of the public to share their views and concerns about our efforts to keep the disease out of New York.”

CWD is a neurological disease found in deer and elk that causes the animals to become emaciated and display abnormal behavior, and invariably results in the death of the infected animal. Since the method of transmission of CWD is not fully understood, New York and other states have enacted various surveillance and preventative measures to minimize the risk of the disease affecting deer herds.

On January 9, 2003, DEC issued a temporary regulation to protect the health and welfare of the State’s wild, white-tailed deer herd. This is the fourth temporary regulation issued by DEC on CWD, replacing a previous temporary regulation that had expired. The regulation includes a ban on the importation and release of live deer and elk; restrictions on the handling of carcasses and parts of deer and elk taken in other states or Canadian provinces where the disease has been detected; and a prohibition on many traditional wild deer feeding practices.

The new regulation was amended from the previous version to include the State of Illinois under provisions that ban the import of the brain, eyes, spinal cord, lymph nodes, tonsils or spleen from wild deer or elk taken in states or Canadian provinces where CWD has been found. CWD was reported in Illinois on November 1, 2002.

The full text of the regulation can be found on DEC’s website at:

Following is a schedule of the CWD public meetings.

Region 1

Thursday, February 27, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the DEC Regional Office, Building 40, State University of New York at Stony Brook campus, Suffolk County.

Region 3

Thursday, February 13, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Granite Associates auditorium, 1 Cablevision Center, Sullivan Avenue, Ferndale, Sullivan County.

Region 4

Wednesday, January 29, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, State Route 23 (east of town), Oneonta, Otsego County;

Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Quality Inn, 3 Watervliet Avenue, Albany County.

Region 5

Thursday, February 13, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Beekmantown Central School on the corner of Rt. 22 and Spellman Road, approx. 7 miles north of Plattsburgh, Clinton County.

Thursday, February 20, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. in the Birch Room, Heritage Hall at the Glens Falls Civic Center, One Civic Center Plaza, downtown Glens Falls, Warren County.

Region 6

Tuesday, February 11, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Lowville Academy High School Auditorium, 7668 State Street (Rt. 26). Lowville, Lewis County.

Monday, February 24, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Potsdam High School, 29 Leroy Street, Potsdam, St. Lawrence County.

Region 7

Wednesday, January 29, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 840 Upper Front Street, Binghamton, Broome County.

Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the State Fairgrounds, Art and Home Center, Syracuse, Onondaga County.

Region 8

Tuesday, January 28, 2003, 7p.m. – 10 p.m. at Corning-Painted Post West High School, 35 Victory Highway on the north edge of the Village of Painted Post, Steuben County.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Ontario County Safety and Training Facility, 2914 County Road No. 48, in Canandaigua, Ontario County.

Region 9

Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Randolph Central High School, Main Street, Randolph, Cattaraugus County.

Thursday, February 6, 2003, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Big Tree Elementary School, S-4460 Bayview Rd., Hamburg, Erie County.

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