Alert Comes on Heels of Recent DEM Reminder that New York State and Surrounding Counties Also Subject to Rhode Island CWD Regulations

PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management alerts hunters that Chronic Wasting Disease has been detected in West Virginia and that the entire state of West Virginia and all bordering counties in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio are now considered CWD-endemic areas.

Therefore, Rhode Island’s CWD regulations regarding cervids – that is, members of the deer family including deer, elk, and moose – apply to all such animals and animal parts imported to Rhode Island from West Virginia and all bordering counties. (*see attached list)

The alert follows a DEM reminder to hunters issued in August that because of the detection of CWD in New York’s Oneida County this past spring, the entire state of New York and all bordering counties in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (*see attached list) are also considered CWD-endemic areas, subject to the same Rhode Island regulations.

Michael Lapisky, Acting Chief of DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife says that hunters should take heed of the following regulations and plan their out-of-state hunting trips accordingly:

  • Prohibited: Importing or possessing whole cervids from CWD-endemic areas.
  • Prohibited: Importing or possessing the brain, eyes, spinal cord, lymph nodes, tonsils or spleen (as for taxidermy mounts) of any cervids from a CWD-endemic area, or any captive cervid from outside Rhode Island.
  • Permitted: Importing or possessing boned, packaged cervid meat from CWD-endemic areas. Hunters planning trips to these areas must make arrangements to process any cervids they take before returning to Rhode Island.
  • Permitted: Importing or possessing the hide, cape, skull-cap with antlers attached, antlers, finished taxidermy, tanned hides and the upper canine of cervids from CWD-endemic areas.
  • Required: Permitted cervids and cervid parts from outside Rhode Island must be clearly labeled with the following information:
    • the species of animal;
    • the state, province or country where the animal was taken;
    • the name of the person who took the animal or the name of the shipper;
    • the address of the taker or shipper;
    • and, for transport through the state, the destination of the shipment.

Cervids and cervid parts must also bear the labeling required by the state where the animal was taken.

The regulations are part of the state’s efforts to prevent the introduction of CWD into Rhode Island. CWD is a progressive neurological disease that is fatal to deer and elk. It is not known to pose any risk to people or animals other than cervids. In addition to West Virginia and New York, the disease has been found in wild deer and elk in limited areas of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Kansas, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Illinois, and in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It has also been identified in farmed elk in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Kansas, and in Canada on Saskatchewan and Alberta farms.

DEM’s regulations, and a brochure on Chronic Wasting Disease, can be found on DEM’s website,, by clicking on “Publications/Regulations”. For additional information on Chronic Wasting Disease, visit the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website at

and bordering counties in:
and bordering counties in:

  • Beaver
  • Washington
  • Greene
  • Fayette

  • Wayne
  • Susquehanna
  • Bradford
  • Tioga
  • Potter
  • McKean
  • Warren
  • Crawford
  • Erie

  • Garrett
  • Allegany
  • Washington

  • Franklin
  • Chittenden
  • Addison
  • Rutland
  • Bennington

  • Frederick
  • Clarke
  • Loudoun
  • Shenandoah
  • Rockingham
  • Augusta
  • Highland
  • Bath
  • Alleghany
  • Craig
  • Giles
  • Bland
  • Tazewell
  • Buchanan

  • Berkshire

  • Boyd
  • Lawrence
  • Martin
  • Pike

  • Litchfield
  • Fairfield

  • Lawrence
  • Gallia
  • Meigs
  • Athens
  • Washington
  • Monroe
  • Belmont
  • Jefferson
  • Columbiana
New Jersey

  • Bergen
  • Hudson
  • Passaic
  • Morris
  • Sussex

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