American Cervid Alliance

Letter: States Must do More to Fight Chronic Wasting Disease

November 16, 2014


Posted Nov. 16, 2014
Daily Messenger

Canandaigua, N.Y.

    In response to the story “DEC's chronic wasting disease regulation prohibits hunters from bringing white-tailed deer, elk or moose into New York,” it is not scientifically accurate to call chronic wasting disease “highly contagious.” There is no evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans. Further, its prevalence in free-ranging and farmed deer and elk populations is low. According to USDA data collected between 1998 and 2002, CWD is only prevalent in about 4 in 1,000 free-ranging deer and elk, and at an even lower rate among farmed cervids.

    However, Messenger Post is correct in noting that hunters who import deer carcasses should certainly be careful about importing from a CWD positive area, since that could be one way CWD spreads. But this also highlights a gap in CWD control. While deer farmers who ship animals across state lines must be part of a rigorous CWD certification program administered by the USDA, many states are not testing their free-ranging deer populations at a high level—many test less than 1 percent of their free-ranging herds. States need to help the fight against CWD by testing more animals.

    Charly Seale American Cervid Alliance Chairman, Media Review Committee

<< Go Back

Website designed & hosted by Outdoor Resources, LLC