New Hampshire Still Free of “Mad Cow” Disease in Deer
Bob McNally 05.03.17
The “mad cow” form of disease all-too-commonly found in whitetail deer and labeled “chronic wasting disease” is still not found in New Hampshire, based on data from the 2016 hunting season.
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department made the announcement as part of long-running efforts to keep CWD outside of New Hampshire.
This is significant, since CWD has been found in many states in the Midwest and West, as well as along parts of the East Coast.
Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder that is always fatal to white-tailed deer, moose, mule deer, elk, and other members of the deer family. While it is not believed that CWD is transmissible to humans, hunters are still advised not to consume animals that may have the disease.
In 2016, nearly 270 tissue samples from hunter-harvested deer were tested by state Fish and Game, with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services. New Hampshire’s monitoring program is part of a nationwide effort to stop the spread of CWD.
Since the monitoring program began in 2002, about 5,817 deer have been tested in New Hampshire.
The state is asking hunters not to use natural urine-based deer lures, out of concern they can inadvertently carry CWD. The state imposes restrictions on importing deer carcasses from areas with CWD.