Watkinsville, Ga. – In response to the recent discovery of two white-tailed deer from separate captive herds in Oneida County, N.Y., that tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) commends the New York Department of Environmental Control (DEC) and New York Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) for their rapid and measured response.

“While CWD is an extremely serious and always fatal disease of deer and elk, we are pleased that at this point it has not been discovered in wild herds,” said QDMA executive director Brian Murphy.

“However, given that New York has an estimated population of nearly one million wild white-tailed deer from which more than 250,000 are harvested annually by hunters, all possible steps must be taken to confirm that the disease is not present in wild herds and to eradicate it from all infected captive herds. As such, we commend the DEC and DAM for taking immediate action to depopulate the two infected herds and to substantially increase testing of the approximately 200 other captive whitetail herds in New York as well as the wild herds surrounding the two known infected herds,” said Murphy.

QDMA encourages the public, and especially deer hunters, to become more knowledgeable about this disease and to immediately report any suspect deer to the DEC or DAM.

The leading source of factual information on CWD is the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance ( www.CWD-info.org ).

The CWD Alliance was formed in 2002 to promote responsible and accurate information on CWD and to support strategies to minimize the impacts of CWD on free-roaming deer and elk populations. It currently includes nearly 20 member organizations and companies including, among others, the Boone and Crockett Club, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, and QDMA.

While CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) and closely related to mad cow disease, it should be stressed that there is currently no evidence that CWD poses any human health risk. Despite being known to exist since at least 1967, no cases of the human form of the disease – Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) – have been linked to handling or consuming infected deer.

For accurate and up-to-date information on white-tailed deer throughout North America, contact the Quality Deer Management Association. QDMA is a national, nonprofit wildlife conservation dedicated to ethical hunting, sound deer management and preservation of the deer-hunting heritage. QDMA also is an active supporter of CWD research and works with state wildlife agencies to inform and educate the public on issues pertaining to white-tailed deer. With nearly 35,000 members, including more than 1,000 wildlife professionals, in all 50 states and several foreign countries, QDMA is the leading voice of whitetail hunting and management. For more information on whitetail biology, management and hunting, contact QDMA at 800-209-3337 or online at www.QDMA.com.

–QDMA … better deer, better deer hunting–