Hunting season is approaching and the Animal Health Diagnostic Center is accepting hunter-harvested submissions for CWD testing for $65 per sample (deer head).
What do I submit?
We need the deer head for testing. Remove the head at the first vertebrae behind the skull. If you harvest a buck, cut off the antlers at the base or the skull plate with a saw before submitting. You will not be able to get the antlers back if you submit them to the lab.
When should I submit the deer head?
Submit the head as soon as possible after harvesting the deer. Do not freeze. Do not wait until the deer hangs for several days to submit.
How do I package the head?
Follow the detailed shipping instructions provided to ensure that you are complying with federal regulations. The head must be contained in three leak-proof bags with ice packs and absorbent material so assemble these items before you begin handling the head.
Where can I drop the head off?
You can drop the head off at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center, 240 Farrier Rd., Ithaca, NY 14853 during regular business hours. Bring the packaged head to the Receiving window in the main lobby.
How do I ship the head in?
Follow the shipping instructions. Because the head will likely weigh more than 5 lbs., you must use UPS for shipping.
When will I get results?
Expect results about 10-14 business days. Results will be either be mailed or someone will call you with results. Please make sure that your information on the submission form is legible.
Can I eat the venison if it’s negative?
The CWD test is not considered a food safety test. The result will be positive, non-detect, or not able to be tested. The CDC recommends no one knowingly consume a CWD-positive deer. CWD has not been detected in NYS since 2005 so it is unlikely that you will have a positive result. If the head is not kept cool or a long period passes before being submitted for testing, the samples may be unsuitable and the test will not be able to be completed.