Good news coming out of New Hampshire as monitoring data gathered by the state’s Fish and Game Department exhibited no evidence of chronic wasting disease in the state’s whitetail deer population.
Testing a total of 268 tissue samples collected during 2016’s hunting seasons as part of a nationwide effort to contain the disease, the department reported zero instances of the degenerative disease. According to deer biologist Dan Bergeron, the state aims to continue its fight against the disease by asking hunters to refrain from using natural lures when hunting.
“While it is good news that New Hampshire remains CWD-free, we are asking hunters to help our herd by not using natural urine-based deer lures when hunting, because these products can potentially spread CWD,” said Bergeron. Fish and Game recommends that hunters instead choose from among the many effective synthetic lures available on the market today.
The use of these types of products, often collected from captive deer breeding facilities outside the state, can have a compounding effect on the environment and wildlife. During collection, the urine is exposed to feces and saliva, which is often strained out before bottling but have no guarantee in eliminating the prions that lead to infection.
“Deer urine is not a regulated industry or product, and these lures do not undergo any quality control or treatment that might inactivate or kill disease-causing agents,” said Bergeron. “Also, commercial lures are not tested for the presence of CWD prions.”
The department strongly advises against the use of these types of urine-based lures, which have been outlawed in many states and Canadian provinces in recent years. Additionally, New Hampshire has strict regulations in place, prohibiting the import of out-of-state carcasses which could pose a risk to the native deer populations.