DEC adopts new regulations protecting deer and moose from chronic wasting disease

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FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2011 file photo, a mature white-tailed deer buck stands alertly in a suburban neighborhood in Moreland Hills, Ohio. An Ohio legislative panel on Wednesday signed off on new deer hunting regulations that cut the number of animals that hunters can kill statewide. The rules also eliminate hunting zone areas and set per-county caps on bag limits. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

The DEC is adopting regulatory changes to further protect New York’s wild deer and moose from Chronic Wasting Disease, according to Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Seggos says while CWD is not in New York, it poses a significant threat to the state’s moose and deer populations. 

“We don’t have CWD in New York, and we want to keep it that way. With these regulation changes, we are acting to reduce the likelihood that hunters or owners of captive CWD-susceptible animals may inadvertently bring the disease into the state,” Seggos said.

According to the DEC, the most significant change in these regulations is hunters are now prohibited from returning to New York with whole carcasses of deer, elk, moose, or caribou harvested outside of New York.

 Only 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 the state.

Environmental Conservation Police Officers will be monitoring roadways and entry points along state borders. Whole carcasses imported into New York illegally will be confiscated and destroyed.

Other 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.

The regulations take effect today.

Here’s how the DEC suggests how New York can stay CWD-free:

  • Hunters, taxidermists, and deer processors are reminded to: Not ship, import, or bring whole deer, elk, moose, or caribou carcasses or intact trophy heads into New York;
  • Avoid natural deer-urine-based attractants. Instead, use synthetic products; and
  • Dispose of carcasses and carcass parts properly at approved landfills.

The public is encouraged to:

  • Report sick or abnormally behaving deer;
  • Not feed wild deer or moose;
  • Report violators; and
  • Take the threat of CWD seriously and spread the word. 

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