DEC warns hunters in St. Lawrence County and around state about deer, moose chronic wasting disease controls
Monday, January 13, 2020 - 9:19 am

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC is adopting regulatory changes that will further protect New York's wild deer and moose from chronic wasting disease (CWD).

DEC is working with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) and the agricultural community to prevent CWD from gaining a foothold in New York.

The regulations' most significant change is that hunters are now prohibited from returning to New York State with whole carcasses of deer, elk, moose, or caribou harvested outside of New York. Only the deboned meat, cleaned skull cap, antlers with no flesh adhering, raw or processed cape or hide, cleaned teeth or lower jaw, and finished taxidermy products of CWD-susceptible animals may be brought into New York.

Hunting seasons are already underway throughout the state and the nation, and hunters should not risk losing their prized deer or elk because they failed to follow New York law. DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers will be monitoring roadways and entry points along state borders and whole carcasses that are imported into New York illegally will be confiscated and destroyed.

Transportation of carcasses through New York is still legal, provided that no parts are disposed of or remain in New York, but hunters should verify importation rules in their destination state or province.

Other adopted changes include increasing the ease with which DEC's Environmental Conservation Police Officers can enforce DAM regulations to ensure compliance by owners of captive cervids (animals in the deer family), and clarifying disposal requirements for taxidermists that process CWD-susceptible animals.

These regulations took effect on Nov. 13.

CWD is an untreatable and fatal nervous system disease caused by abnormally shaped proteins called prions. It affects deer, elk, and moose. CWD prions are shed through saliva, urine, and feces of infected animals. A healthy deer, elk, or moose can pick up the disease by direct contact with the infected animal's body fluids or by eating contaminated sources of food or water. CWD is not currently known to exist in New York.