NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has been made aware of false information being circulated on social media and elsewhere that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been found in Hunterdon County.
To date, there have been no cases of CWD found in New Jersey, authorities said.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and the United States Department of Agriculture are the only entities testing for Chronic Wasting Disease in New Jersey. A veterinarian cannot run this test in their office as samples must be sent out to a special lab and processing generally takes several weeks to several months to get results.
New Jersey’s wildlife pathologist, who is also a veterinarian, has taken samples from several deer in Hunterdon County this year. Those samples have been negative for CWD and all other samples we have submitted to date have also been negative.
Chronic Wasting Disease, is a progressive and fatal neurologic disease that affects members of the Cervid family such as deer, elk, moose, and reindeer and is caused by an infectious protein called a prion. CWD results in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death, and is readily spread from deer to deer. It poses a serious threat to New Jersey’s deer herds and wears down and kills every infected animal.
CWD has been found in captive and wild deer in 26 states, four Canadian provinces, Norway, Finland, and South Korea. The closest known occurrence to New Jersey is in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Preventing CWD from entering New Jersey is the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s primary focus, and the Division aggressively monitors and tests for CWD in New Jersey’s deer herd.
How can you help?
• Do not import any live deer into New Jersey.
• Immediately report any deer displaying symptoms of CWD. Document the location of the animal, record GPS coordinates if possible, and take pictures if possible. Report this to our Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics at 908-637- 4173 ext. 120, a regional Division Law Office, or a Division Deer Biologist. One of the most important ways of stopping the spread of CWD is early detection. Your reports of sick deer are critically important to NJ’s disease monitoring efforts!
The Division of Fish and Wildlife is committed to providing the most up to date information regarding Chronic Wasting Disease and the health of our wildlife. Updates regarding CWD will be posted regularly on the Division’s website, as well as our Facebook and Instagram pages.
For current information on CWD , go to njfishandwildlife.com/cwdinfo.htm.