PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is asking hunters to continue submitting samples for Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance. Samples from over 100 deer have already been taken but the Department’s quota remains at 180, as it was last year.
Many samples are still needed from the East Bay, as well as Kent and Washington Counties. Only Providence County surveillance has been completed. Check station operators will be available to assist hunters with sample submissions. All heads must be fresh and include hunter name, address, and location of kill.
The surveillance is a continuing part of DEM’s efforts to keep Rhode Island deer herds free of Chronic Wasting Disease. Chronic Wasting Disease is a progressive neurological disease that is always fatal to deer and elk. It has been found in wild deer and elk in limited areas of several Midwest and mountain states, two Canadian provinces, central New York, and Northeastern West Virginia. As a result, very strict rules have been implemented on restricting the import of deer and other cervids from Chronic Wasting Disease-endemic areas, defined as the states and counties bordering those states where the disease has been identified.