NEW YORK (WWTI) — The Department of Conservation is asking hunters for their help keeping Chronic Wasting Disease out of New York.
CWD is an untreatable and fatal brain and nervous system disease found in deer, elk and moose. The disease poses a serious threat to New York’s white-tailed deer population. Once introduced to an area the disease can spread rapidly and can be practically impossible to eliminate once it is established.
There was a recent detection of CWD in a captive deer herd in Pennsylvania near the New York State border. The discovery is a reminder that the disease can be unintentionally moved to new locations, and how important it is for hunters to do what they can to avoid CWD from making it into New York.
To stop the disease from spreading, the DEC advises hunters to debone any type of deer, elk, moose, or caribou outside of New York before bringing it back. Hunters are now prohibited from returning to New York with whole carcasses because of the disease.
They also suggest avoiding products like scent lures. These products can contain bodily fluids from deer that could’ve been infected, and there is no way to make sure that scent lures containing fluids such as deer urine are safe. The products can bind to the soil and plants where they remain infectious for years, because of this hunters should use synthetic alternatives.
The DEC encourages hunters for dispose of carcass waste in a landfill and not on the landscape. They also said that only wild deer should be hunted while following fair chase hunting principles.
If a hunter does see evidence of CWD in a deer in New York they should report it immediately to the DEC.