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Deer season kills reveal no chronic wasting disease issues

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New Hampshire deer remain at low risk for CWD. (Courtesy/NHF&G photo)

CONCORD - New Hampshire's white-tailed deer population once again showed no evidence of chronic wasting disease, based on monitoring data gathered during the 2017 hunting season.

The NH Fish and Game Department is asking hunters to do their part in the effort to keep the state CWD-free by not using natural urine-based deer lures and following state restrictions on importing carcasses from CWD-positive jurisdictions.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder that is always fatal to white-tailed deer, moose, mule deer, elk, and other exotic cervids (members of deer family). Currently it is not believed that CWD is transmissible to humans; however, hunters are still advised not to consume animals that may have CWD.

Deer Biologist Dan Bergeron recently received results from a federally certified veterinary diagnostic laboratory that indicate that all the deer tissue samples taken during the 2017 New Hampshire fall hunting season tested negative for CWD. In 2017, a total of 444 tissue samples from hunter-killed deer were tested by Fish and Game, with significant support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services in Concord.

New Hampshire's monitoring program is part of a nationwide effort to stop the spread of CWD. Since the monitoring program began in 2002, some 6,261 deer have been tested in New Hampshire.

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