Sampling in Oneida County To Date Shows No Signs of CWD in Wild Herd

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the initial round of sampling results for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Oneida County wild deer has shown no signs of the disease to date in New York State’s wild deer population.

Sample tissues from 64 wild deer were sent to the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University to be analyzed for CWD. None of the 64 samples showed a positive result for CWD.

DEC has implemented intensive monitoring efforts after CWD was found in two captive white-tailed deer herds in Oneida County – the first incidents of CWD in New York State. Earlier this month, the State Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) completed testing of the captive deer and found a total of five positive results for CWD in the two captive herds.

In addition to sampling the wild deer population in the immediate area of the Oneida County farms, DEC has also collected 25 wild deer near a former captive deer farm in the Town of Arietta, Hamilton County. Complete results from the Hamilton County samples are expected soon and will be posted along with regular updates on DEC’s website at www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/deer/currentcwd.html

To date, DEC, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program, has sampled 172 deer in Oneida County. Of that total, 150 were taken by firearm, and 22 were killed in deer-vehicle accidents. Tissue samples will continue to be sent to the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing.

CWD is a transmissible disease that affects the brain and central nervous system of certain deer and elk. There is no evidence that CWD is linked to disease in humans or domestic livestock other than deer and elk.

DEC encourages any individual who sees a sick or dead deer within the Oneida County sampling area to notify the Oneida CWD Incident Command Post at the Rome Fish Hatchery by calling 315-336-4809. DEC staff will pick up deer in the area for processing at the field laboratory. Highway departments should continue to relay information to the command post on road kills they receive. Members of the public should not pick up dead deer within the sampling area.

DEC has received tremendous cooperation from Oneida County residents who have allowed personnel onto their property. To date, DEC has been granted access to approximately 13,000 acres of private land. Landowners who are interested in assisting in the effort are encouraged to allow access if there is sufficient area around their properties to allow for safe shooting areas. Landowners can also call 315-336-4809.