April 15, 2002
NEW YORK STATE BANS THE IMPORTATION
OF DEER AND ELK
Action Taken As A Precautionary Step To
Prevent the Spread Of Chronic Wasting Disease
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Nathan L.
Rudgers and State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Commissioner Erin M. Crotty today announced regulations to prohibit the
importation of deer and elk into New York State, a precautionary step to
prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease into wild and farmed herds of
animals in the deer family in the State. The regulations take effect
"By banning the import of deer and elk into the State, we can reduce the
risk of the chronic wasting disease entering New York and help to prevent
our abundant wild deer herds from being exposed to this deadly disease," DEC
Commissioner Crotty said. "New York has a large and healthy deer population
that is vital to our environment and economy, and we will continue to work
closely with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets and federal
agencies to develop effective strategies to halt the spread of this disease
and protect wildlife."
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Rudgers said, "New
York is home to a growing number of deer and elk farms, as well as a robust
wild deer population. This ban on the movement and importation of deer and
elk is an essential disease control measure that will help prevent the
introduction of chronic wasting disease into New York State."
Both DEC and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets have
responsibilities for protecting captive deer herds in New York State. The
State Department of Agriculture and Markets monitors the health and movement
of all captive deer for the presence of common livestock diseases. DEC
issues licenses to individuals who possess, import or sell white-tailed
deer. The two agencies are adopting separate, but coordinated, regulations
in an effort to provide comprehensive protection against the introduction of
chronic wasting disease into New York State.
There are more than 400 entities in the State raising nearly 10,000 deer and
elk in captivity. Many of these entities routinely import captive-bred deer
and elk from other states.
Together, the importation bans apply to all members of the cervidae family,
including four species of North American deer: the white-tailed deer, mule
deer, including the black-tailed subspecies; elk, including European red
deer; and moose. In addition, two species of exotic deer - the fallow deer
and sika deer - are included in the bans.
Chronic wasting disease has been diagnosed in captive elk or deer herds in
Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and the
Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It has been confirmed in wild deer herds
in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Wisconsin. There are no known cases of
the disease in New York State.
As a relatively new disease, chronic wasting disease is not fully understood
at this point. The disease is typified by chronic weight loss and is always
fatal. The origin of the disease is unknown, but it is transmittable between
animals. To date, chronic wasting disease has been found only in members of
the deer family in North America. There is no evidence that the disease is
linked to disease in humans or domestic livestock other than deer and elk.
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has declared chronic wasting disease to be
an emergency that threatens the livestock industry of the United States and
authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a chronic wasting
disease eradication program.
DEC and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets are working on a
chronic wasting disease monitoring system for New York and developing
strategies for long-term management of the problem, including reviewing
efforts of other states.
For additional information on chronic wasting disease or the regulatory ban
on importation of deer and elk, contact the New York State Department of
Agriculture and Markets at 1-800-554-4501 or visit the Department's website
Source: NYS DAM