Department of Environmental Conservation

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CWD Surveillance

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) poses a serious threat to New York's white-tailed deer population, the deer hunting tradition, and the many other benefits associated with a wild white-tailed deer population. The following information on this page describes the actions DEC is taking to protect our deer population from this disease.


  • collects and tests samples from hunter-harvested deer for CWD annually;
  • responds to reports of sick wild deer and tests them for CWD;
  • enforces regulations to prevent importation and illegal disposal of potentially infected CWD material; and
  • shares information on CWD with stakeholders.


The Division of Fish and Wildlife has conducted a CWD surveillance program since 2002. The highest priority of this program is to collect and test sick and abnormally acting deer to determine if these animals have CWD. In addition, CWD samples are collected from hunter-killed deer during the open season. The CWD Surveillance Plan (PDF, 748 KB) is designed to collect samples from the highest risk areas in the state. Data is being gathered to update the plan in 2018.

DEC annually examines 1,500 to 2,000 deer specimens to monitor for the presence of CWD. This ongoing program uses a statistically valid, risk-based sampling scheme. It utilizes New York's wild white-tailed deer population density and other risk factors to determine the appropriate number of samples needed throughout the state.

Samples are collected from cooperating deer processors and taxidermists, then are processed by DEC personnel and sent to the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for analysis. For more details, view the evaluation report listed below.

Annual Surveillance Evaluation Reports