Addressing the Threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Vermont

Understanding Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a highly contagious and fatal disease impacting the deer family, which includes species such as white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. This neurodegenerative disorder, which has no known cure or vaccine, is characterized by rapid deterioration of the animal's body and brain functions.

Current Spread and Impact

  • Geographical Spread: CWD has been identified in 32 U.S. states and 4 Canadian provinces.
  • Longevity and Resistance: The prions responsible for CWD are extremely resilient, remaining active in the soil for extended periods and thus posing a prolonged risk of transmission.

Vermont’s Contingency Plans

Immediate Response if CWD is Detected

  • Rapid Intervention: The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is prepared to act swiftly if CWD is detected within the state.
  • Deer Population Control: The primary strategy would involve a significant reduction in deer populations in affected areas to curtail the spread of CWD. This includes culling infected deer and minimizing exposure of healthy deer to contaminated environments.

Long-Term Impact and Management

  • Progressive Disease Impact: Due to CWD's slow progression and high contagion rate, its initial impacts might not be immediately visible. However, over time, escalating infections and mortality rates would lead to a substantial decline in deer populations.
  • Research and Knowledge Development: Continuous scientific research is key to understanding and eventually mitigating CWD. Advances in this field may lead to future solutions.

Prevention and Public Awareness

  • Preventative Measures: The most effective method to control CWD is to prevent its introduction into Vermont. This involves strict regulations on the movement of deer and deer products, along with active surveillance programs.
  • Public Cooperation: Awareness and cooperation from hunters, wildlife enthusiasts, and the general public are crucial in monitoring and reporting potential CWD cases.

Contributing to Chronic Wasting Disease Prevention in Vermont

Vital Actions for Citizens and Hunters

Reporting Unwell Deer

  • Immediate Reporting: If you observe deer that appear sick or are behaving abnormally, promptly report them to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department at 802-828-1000.

Educating Yourself and Others

  • Understand CWD: Gain knowledge about Chronic Wasting Disease, its symptoms, how it spreads, and its impact on deer populations.
  • Spread Awareness: Share information about CWD with your community, especially those involved in hunting and wildlife activities.

Hunting Regulations Compliance

  • Adhere to Carcass Import Rules: If hunting out-of-state, follow Vermont’s strict guidelines on carcass importation to prevent the spread of CWD.
  • Reject Natural Deer Urine Lures: Avoid using natural deer urine lures, as they can contribute to the spread of CWD.

Encouraging Community Participation

  • Promote Rule Adherence: Urge friends, fellow hunters, and community members to comply with Vermont’s wildlife management rules and guidelines.

The Power of Collective Effort

By taking these steps, you play a crucial role in helping to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in Vermont. Your actions not only contribute to the health of the deer populations but also support the broader ecosystem and hunting traditions in the state. Active participation and cooperation from the community are key to effectively managing this wildlife health issue.

Regulation on Deer Urine Lures in Vermont

Prohibition of Deer Urine Lures

  • Illegality of Use: In Vermont, the use of deer urine lures is strictly prohibited due to the risk they pose in potentially introducing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into the state.
  • Risk Factor: Deer urine lures can contain infectious prions responsible for CWD, a disease with devastating effects on deer populations.

Safer Alternatives

  • Synthetic Options: Hunters are encouraged to use synthetic alternatives to deer urine lures. These alternatives are designed to be effective in attracting deer without the risk of spreading CWD.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD): Affected States and Provinces

States with Recorded CWD Cases

As of the latest information, Chronic Wasting Disease has been identified in the following U.S. states:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Colorado
  4. Florida
  5. Idaho
  6. Illinois
  7. Iowa
  8. Kansas
  9. Louisiana
  10. Maryland
  11. Michigan
  12. Minnesota
  13. Mississippi
  14. Missouri
  15. Montana
  16. Nebraska
  17. New Mexico
  18. New York
  19. North Carolina
  20. North Dakota
  21. Ohio
  22. Oklahoma
  23. Pennsylvania
  24. South Dakota
  25. Tennessee
  26. Texas
  27. Utah
  28. Virginia
  29. West Virginia
  30. Wisconsin
  31. Wyoming

Canadian Provinces with CWD Presence

In Canada, Chronic Wasting Disease has been reported in:

  1. Alberta
  2. Quebec
  3. Manitoba
  4. Saskatchewan

Ongoing Monitoring and Updates

  • Dynamic Situation: The list of states and provinces with CWD is subject to change as new cases are discovered and reported.
  • Regular Updates: Hunters and wildlife enthusiasts are advised to stay informed about the latest developments in CWD spread. This is particularly important for those traveling to hunt in different states or provinces.

Importation Restrictions: Preventing CWD Spread

Overview of Importation Rules

  • Restrictions: Strict regulations are in place regarding the importation of deer or elk carcasses or parts from locations that have reported Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). These measures aim to prevent the spread of CWD into unaffected areas.

Affected States and Provinces

  • CWD-Affected Areas: As of the latest update, 30 states and 4 Canadian provinces have documented cases of CWD. This includes New York State and Quebec.
  • Areas Without CWD: New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts have not reported CWD cases. However, vigilance remains crucial.
  • Recent Addition: Quebec has been added to the list following the confirmation of CWD in a captive red deer facility.

Specific Prohibitions

  • Illegal Importation: It is illegal to import deer or moose carcasses or parts from New York, Quebec, and all other states and provinces that have experienced CWD.
Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.