Abstract

Title:  Once Bitten, Twice Shy: New York's Risk-based Approach to Chronic Wasting Disease
Author(s): Krysten Schuler, Cornell University
Year: 2017
Abstract: In 2005, New York discovered chronic wasting disease in both captive and wild white-tailed deer. There have been no subsequent detections in over 35,000 deer tested. In 2011, the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation partnered with Cornell University to form a comprehensive wildlife health program. A program priority was to update CWD management to incorporate elements of risk into decision making. We conducted onsite surveys at deer processors, taxidermists, and captive cervid operations to identify potential disease introduction or transmission activities. Using aggregated risk scores and estimated deer density, we developed point quotas for each county. Sex and age class point values were established to meet quotas, which included training taxidermists to collect retropharyngeal lymph nodes from adult bucks. For our response plan, we convened an interagency team of biologists and veterinarians to identify responsibilities and actions. We created a CWD Outbreak Response GIS Toolbox to delineate our initial response area based on a cumulative disease risk probability map, established by a field study of deer movement, deer interaction, and resource use. Finally, we used our interagency team and a risk perception study of state agencies and stakeholders to identify high risk activities for a CWD prevention plan. Currently, there is no live import of captive cervids into the state and plans are underway for additional regulations, including prohibiting import of whole carcasses into New York and use of deer urine products while afield. Keys to success have been interagency cooperation, immediate action, and disease prevention measures.

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