ALBANY – New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation has released new deer and moose feeding regulations.
Officials say the new regulations aim to reduce problems caused by wildlife feeding and establish strict procedures for the use of tick-control devices designed to treat deer.
Prohibiting the feeding of wild deer and moose is a best management approach to reduce risks associated with communicable wildlife diseases like chronic wasting disease, minimize conflicts with deer, and protect wildlife habitat; officials say.
DEC first prohibited deer feeding in 2002 in response to the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) because concentrating deer or moose at feeding sites increases the risk of disease transmission.
However, there are many other negative impacts associated with deer feeding that necessitate a broader regulation.
Following a public comment period earlier this year, DEC adopted the new regulation to provide a clearer definition of what does and does not constitute illegal feeding of deer or moose.
For example, the requirements provide exemptions for wildlife plantings, bona fide agricultural practices, livestock husbandry, and research and nuisance abatement actions permitted by DEC.
It clarifies that incidental feeding such as the attraction of deer or moose to a birdfeeder will only be considered a violation if DEC has previously issued a written warning to the person responsible for the incidental feeding.
This will allow nuisance situations to be appropriately addressed without limiting bird feeding in general.