CONTACT:
Capt. Martin Garabedian: (603) 271-3128
Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
November 3, 2006

Hunters Take Note: Fish and Game Will Confiscate Deer Imported Illegally from CWD States

CONCORD, N.H. -- Officials from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department urge hunters going out of state to hunt this fall to be aware of laws that prohibit the importation into New Hampshire of hunter-killed deer, elk and moose carcasses or parts of carcasses from the 16 states where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been detected, unless the meat is processed according to strict regulations.

Recently, Fish and Game Conservation Officers confiscated whole deer taken from a CWD state and brought into New Hampshire illegally. Hunters caught in possession of such deer, moose, elk or other members of the cervid (deer) family that have not been properly processed will face serious penalties and the animals will be confiscated.

"The threat posed by CWD to New Hampshire's deer and moose herd is of serious concern to us," said Lee Perry, Fish and Game's executive director. "Hunters who hunt out of state need to abide by the rules, which are designed to allow people to bring those animals back to New Hampshire without putting the state's herd at risk." Animals imported from a CWD state or province, and not processed in compliance with the law, will be confiscated and incinerated as part of ongoing attempts to protect New Hampshire's deer and moose populations.

Current N.H. regulations allow for the importation into New Hampshire of only deboned meat, antlers, upper canine teeth and/or hides or capes with no part of the head attached from the 16 states and provinces where CWD has been confirmed. These include Alberta, Canada; Colorado; Illinois; Kansas; Minnesota; Montana; Nebraska; New Mexico; New York; Oklahoma; Saskatchewan, Canada; South Dakota; Utah; Wisconsin; West Virginia and Wyoming. Antlers attached to skull caps or canine teeth must have all soft tissue removed. More information is on pages 21 and 60 of the current New Hampshire Hunting Digest (click here and on the orange icon), or click here for a Q&A about CWD and New Hampshire's monitoring efforts.

A CWD monitoring and testing program for wild deer has been conducted in New Hampshire by Fish and Game biologists since 2002. There is no evidence that this disease exists in the New Hampshire deer herd, and the rules and testing program are designed to prevent exposure via infected animals being imported from other areas.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease that is fatal to deer, moose, elk and other members of the cervid (deer) family. It is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or TSE, and it attacks the brains of infected animals, resulting in their becoming emaciated, exhibiting abnormal behavior and eventually dying. There is no evidence that people can become infected with CWD.

State officials remind hunters and others who enjoy eating venison that CWD is a wildlife management issue, not a public health issue.

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