Deer Confiscated; Hunters Reminded to Keep N.H. CWD-Free

CONCORD, N.H. — Officials from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department announced today that two hunters have been cited for illegally importing whole deer from New York State, a state where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been detected. The two deer were confiscated and destroyed as part of ongoing attempts to protect New Hampshire’s deer and moose populations from the threat of CWD, a disease — fatal to some members of the deer family — that is found in 16 U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

“The threat posed by CWD to New Hampshire’s deer herd is of serious concern to us,” said Lee Perry, Fish and Game’s executive director. “Hunters who hunt out of state need to abide by the rules, which are designed to allow people to bring their deer back to New Hampshire without putting the state’s herd at risk.” The confiscated deer from New York, not yet butchered, were incinerated to destroy any potentially contagious material.

Current N.H. regulations allow for the importation into New Hampshire of only deboned meat, antlers, upper canine teeth and/or hides or capes with no part of the head attached of deer and elk, from the 16 states and provinces where CWD has been confirmed. These include Alberta, Canada; Colorado; Illinois; Kansas; Minnesota; Montana; Nebraska; New Mexico; New York; Oklahoma; Saskatchewan, Canada; South Dakota; Utah; Wisconsin; West Virginia (the newest addition to the list) and Wyoming. Antlers attached to skull caps or canine teeth must have all soft tissue removed. More information on CWD is found on pages 6 and 60 of the current New Hampshire Hunting Digest (to download the digest, click here and on the orange publication cover), or click here for New Hampshire-related questions and answers about CWD.

A CWD monitoring and testing program for wild deer has been conducted in New Hampshire by Fish and Game biologists since 2002. There is no evidence that this disease exists in the New Hampshire deer herd, and the rules and testing program are designed to prevent exposure via infected animals being imported from other areas.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease that is fatal to deer, moose, elk, and other members of the cervid (deer) family. It is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or TSE, and it attacks the brains of infected animals, resulting in their becoming emaciated, exhibiting abnormal behavior and eventually dying.

State officials remind hunters and others who enjoy eating venison that CWD is a wildlife management issue, not a public health issue. There is no evidence that CWD is linked to disease in humans.

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