Second Associated Captive Deer Herd Shows No Signs of CWD The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) today announced it has received more negative test results for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in three captive deer sampled at a herd associated with the deer herds confirmed with CWD in Oneida County.

In follow up to the investigation of the first cases of CWD in New York State, DAM has obtained surveillance samples from two herds that had a direct association with the CWD infected herd detected through routine surveillance in late March.

The latest herd sampled was a herd that had received animals from the initial infected herd in 1997. DAM sampled three white-tailed does, all three years of age or older. These three does were selected because they would provide the best indication of the CWD status of the herd. The three samples were sent to the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University for testing and were all confirmed negative for CWD. These samples augment 16 previous samples tested for CWD since 2002 from this farm that were all negative.

This completes the enhanced surveillance testing of all extant captive herds that received deer from either of the known infected herds. DAM’s ongoing statewide CWD surveillance will continue for all captive susceptible deer herds. It was this surveillance program that detected the initial CWD infection, the first known infection in the State.

To date, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program, has sampled 290 wild white-tailed deer from Oneida County, two from neighboring Madison County and 25 from the Town of Arietta, Hamilton County. DEC has found two positive cases of CWD in the wild deer population in Oneida County. Since 2002, DEC has conducted statewide sampling of wild deer for CWD. When combined with sampling efforts in Oneida, Madison and Hamilton Counties, DEC has collected more than 3,700 samples from wild white-tailed deer. DEC completed its intensive monitoring of wild deer in the Oneida County area on April 30, 2005.

DEC will continue to sample all deer killed within the containment area pursuant to nuisance deer permits, road kills and those taken by hunters. The containment area will be comprised of Oneida County municipalities, including the cities of Rome, Sherrill, and Utica, as well as the towns of Augusta, Floyd, Marcy, Trenton, Whitestown, Verona, Westmoreland, Vernon, Kirkland, New Hartford, Vienna, Annsville, Lee, and Western. In addition, the Madison County towns of Stockbridge and Lenox and City of Oneida will also be included. DEC will use the results of all these efforts to determine the distribution and prevalence of CWD in wild deer as accurately as possible.

In addition, DEC has implemented emergency regulations regarding the handling, transport and management of deer in the State. The emergency regulations are currently in effect and represent an aggressive response to the recent discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Oneida County. DEC’s emergency regulations are designed to ensure the proper handling of deer and prevent further spread of CWD in the wild herd. In addition, DEC has begun the process of establishing permanent regulations, which will appear in the State Register and include a 45-day public comment period.

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. More information on CWD can be found at DAM’s website at www.agmkt.state.ny.us.