DOH Reponds to Deer Hunter Concerns

Posted on 15 January 2009

Preliminary results have been released from the New York State Department of Health on the 4-Poster Deer and Tick Study, which was organized by Cornell University and compares the level of pesticides in meat from deer taken on Shelter Island to that of meat from North Haven deer.

Last week at the North Haven Board of Trustees meeting, board members discussed the preliminary study, which mayor Laura Nolan received from James Doherty, supervisor of the Town of Shelter Island.

The 4-Poster device is a passive feeding station that is designed to control ticks that take advantage of deer as hosts — including black-legged ticks and lone star ticks. These types of ticks can transfer Lyme disease. As a deer feeds on the corn bait at a 4-poster station, the animal’s neck, head and ears brush against the rollers of the device, which are coated with an oily liquid containing the permethrin. The stations are currently in use locally only on Shelter Island and Fire Island.

The Cornell study measures the levels of the tick-killing pesticide permethrin in deer meat, liver and hides and it reveals that the pesticide was found in small dosages in meat from North Haven deer and in a slightly higher amount in the Shelter Island deer.

“They found that there was a small amount of permethrin in the deer in North Haven,” said Nolan. She added that this small amount could be due to residents who spray their lawn with the pesticide in an attempt to reduce the number of ticks in their backyards.

Or, she said, the deer are swimming across the water from Shelter Island to North Haven.

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) said that hunters became concerned during the 4-Poster evaluation process about the potential health risks from exposure to permethrin from eating the meat from these deer. The preliminary study reports that people who eat the deer meat, however, would not be affected by the small amount of this pesticide found in the deer.

The release from the DOH said that in order to determine the levels of permethrin in and on deer, 10 deer known to feed at a 4-poster device, in addition to five deer from a comparison area [North Haven], will be harvested and sampled during the hunting season each year as part of the multi-year study.

Cornell University began implementing the feeding stations on Shelter Island last spring.

 

Above: a deer at a 4-poster treatment feeder

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One Response to “DOH Reponds to Deer Hunter Concerns”

  1. CarolineTC says:

    If hunters are so “worried” about the pesticide then stop killing. That is on you the hunters to decide and its not the deer fault the tick on them. Killing does not work with lyme disease ticks.

    Hunting Will Not Eliminate Lyme Disease.
    All mammals (except bats), 49 bird species and pets can serve as hosts for Lyme disease infected ticks. The tick’s preferred host is the white footed mouse, not deer. The American Lyme Disease Foundation has stated that it does not recommend killing deer as a way to control Lyme Disease. Killing deer may increase the amount of food and cover available for mice, birds and other hosts, which in turn will boost their numbers and escalate the spread of the disease. If hunting is an effective means of controlling Lyme disease, then Pennsylvania -one of our nation’s most heavily hunted states -would not be among the four states with the highest incidence of Lyme. Hunting will not eliminate Lyme disease. All mammals (except bats), 49 bird species and pets can serve as hosts for Lyme disease infected ticks. The tick’s preferred host is the white footed mouse, not deer. The American Lyme Disease Foundation has stated that it does not recommend killing deer as a way to control Lyme Disease. Killing deer may increase the amount of food and cover available for mice, birds and other hosts, which in turn will boost their numbers and escalate the spread of the disease. If hunting is an effective means of controlling Lyme disease, then Pennsylvania – one of our nation’s most heavily hunted states – would not be among the four states with the highest incidence of Lyme Disease.

    Killing also does not work in reducing deer population and can infact worsen wildlife disease epidemic. Please visit my blogger and learn and STOP KILLING NORTH HAVEN, SHELTER ISLAND DEER!


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