With confirmed cases rising in other areas of the country, the state of New York’s deer population is, once again, clear of chronic wasting disease, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The disease, which fatally attacks whitetail deer, elk, moose, and reindeer have not been detected in the Empire State since 2005.  That case was uncovered in a captive breeding facility and was contained through intensive disease response efforts.

“Preventing the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease in New York State is among DEC’s top wildlife priorities. We’re working hard to ensure the health of our deer herd and to protect the recreational and viewing opportunities deer provide,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “We recognize that hunters play an important role in keeping CWD out of New York because the most effective way to protect New York’s deer herd is to keep out CWD.”

During the 2016-2017 surveillance period, the department gathered 2,447 samples for testing from hunter-harvested deer and an additional 102 specimens that were showing signs of abnormal behavior or sickness.

Since testing began in 2002, the DEC has tested over 40,000 whitetail deer in its attempt to remain ahead of the disease within its borders.