The DEC has adopted regulatory changes, effective Nov. 13, that prohibit importing 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.
The regulatory changes were made to further protect New York's wild deer and moose from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
"Chronic Wasting Disease poses a significant threat to New York's deer and moose populations," according to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "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."
DEC is working collaboratively 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.
Hunting seasons are already underway throughout the state and the nation, and hunters are advised to not risk losing their prized deer or elk because they failed to follow New York law. 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 changes commissioners approved include increasing the ability for Environmental Conservation Police Officers to 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.
DEC biologists and DAM veterinarians annually conduct strategic surveillance, sampling wild deer and captive cervids for CWD. New York State's risk-based sampling approach gives the state confidence that CWD is not currently present in New York and that it will be detected quickly if introduced.