ALBANY, N.Y. – The first positive case of chronic wasting disease in New York has been confirmed in a white-tailed doe from a captive herd in Oneida County.
The disease is a transmissible disease that affects the brain and central nervous system of deer and elk.
There is no evidence that chronic wasting disease is linked to disease in humans or domestic livestock other than deer and elk.
Captive herd. The animal that tested positive for the disease was a 6-year old white-tailed doe that was slaughtered from a captive herd in Oneida County as part of the state’s mandatory chronic wasting disease surveillance and testing protocols.
Preliminary tests performed at the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University determined the presumptive positive, which was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
Quarantine. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has officially quarantined the index herd in which the positive deer was found, and will depopulate and test all deer on the premises.
Other herds associated with the index herd have also been quarantined and an investigation has been initiated to find and test any susceptible deer that came into contact with the index herd and to assess the health and environmental risks associated with such establishments.
The Department of Environmental Conservation will conduct intensive monitoring of the wild deer population surrounding the index herd to ensure chronic wasting disease has not spread to wild deer.
TSE. The disease is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of deer and elk.
Scientific and epidemiological research into chronic wasting disease is ongoing.
To date, research shows that the disease is typified by chronic weight loss, is always fatal, and is transmissible between susceptible species.
It has only been found in members of the deer family in North America, which include white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.
Wild, captive. Chronic wasting disease has been detected in both wild and captive deer and elk populations in isolated regions of North America.
To date, it has been found in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming in the United States, and in Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada.
Establishing the known chronic wasting disease health status of captive and wild cervid populations is a critical component for controlling it.
Responsibility. In New York, the responsibility for controlling chronic wasting disease is shared between the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
New York’s cooperative, active surveillance program serves as a model for the nation in chronic wasting disease control.
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