On October 22, 2014, a deer from a captive facility in Ohio tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), that state’s first confirmed case of the disease.
Therefore, Ohio is now considered a CWD-positive jurisdiction and whole deer killed in Ohio can no longer be transported into New Hampshire. People who make hunting trips to CWD-positive jurisdictions can help keep New Hampshire CWD-free by closely following the mandatory regulations on bringing home deer, elk or moose carcasses.
You may legally bring back only deboned meat, antlers, upper canine teeth, hides or capes with no part of the head attached, and finished taxidermy mounts. Antlers attached to skull caps or canine teeth must have all soft tissue removed.
To date, CWD has been detected in wild or captive deer or elk in 24 states and provinces. These include Alberta, Canada; Colorado; Iowa; Illinois; Kansas; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; New Mexico; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Saskatchewan, Canada; South Dakota; Texas; Utah; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; and Wyoming.
A nationwide effort is underway to prevent further spread of the disease. This effort includes collecting annual samples of deer tissue as part of ongoing monitoring and surveillance efforts and restricting the transport of potentially infected animals, carcasses or tissues.
Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder that is always fatal to white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose, but the World Health Organization has concluded that there is no evidence that people can become infected with CWD.
Currently there is no vaccine or treatment for CWD. During the autumn deer hunting season, New Hampshire Fish and Game with significant support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services in Concord, collects heads and extracts brain-stem samples from hunter-killed deer across the state for testing. As a result of these efforts, 4,776 deer have been tested in New Hampshire since testing began in 2002. No samples have tested positive for CWD to date.
For more information about CWD and New Hampshire’s monitoring efforts, visit http://wildnh.com/Wildlife/CWD_QandA.htm