New York unveils finalized CWD plan [video]
Above: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos at a press conference Wednesday, May 16 in Kirkwood (Broome County) announcing the unveiling of the state’s finalized Chronic Wasting Disease Risk Minimization Plan.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner (Ag & Markets) Richard Ball announced that the state has finalized the New York State Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Risk Minimization Plan, the DEC said in a news release Wednesday, May 16.
The plan proposes regulatory changes and new actions to minimize the risk of CWD entering or spreading in New York State and is designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose herds in New York, as well as captive cervids including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities.
DEC biologists worked with Ag & Markets veterinarians and wildlife health experts at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University to craft a comprehensive set of disease prevention measures that are among the most advanced CWD prevention strategies in the nation, according to the release. The plan updates reporting requirements, improves communication to stakeholders, and simplifies regulations to reduce confusion while protecting New York’s valuable natural resources.
In addition to conducting joint inspections of cervid farms and increased record sharing among agencies, the plan will prohibit the importation of certain parts from any CWD-susceptible cervid taken outside of New York and includes specific restrictions on what will be allowed into the state.
The plan also calls for increased public participation in the state’s efforts, and DEC and Ag & Markets urge hunters and citizens to report sick or abnormally behaving deer, do not feed wild deer, dispose of carcasses properly at approved landfills, report violators, and use alternatives to urine-based lures or use synthetic forms of deer urine.
New York State ranks sixth in the nation in white-tailed deer hunting with more than 575,000 hunters harvesting an average of 210,000 deer each year. New York’s white-tailed deer population estimates range from 900,000 to a million. Wild white-tailed deer hunting represents a $1.5 billion industry in the state.
Chronic wasting disease, a fatal brain disease found in certain species of the deer family, was discovered in Oneida County wild and captive white-tailed deer in 2005. More than 49,000 deer have been tested statewide since 2002, and there have been no reoccurrences of the disease since 2005. New York is still the only state to have eliminated CWD once it was found in wild populations. Other states have not been as fortunate. In North America, CWD has been found in 24 states and three Canadian provinces, including neighboring Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The final CWD plan is available on DEC’s website.
— New York State Department of Environmental Conservation