Red stag
Image: Craig Smith | ©


Hunters and trampers entering New Zealand from overseas can help keep New Zealand’s deer herds free of this disease.

Chronic wasting disease is found in members of the deer family in USA, Canada, South Korea and Norway. It's similar to livestock diseases such as BSE (mad cow disease) infecting cattle and scrapie infecting sheep.

It could enter New Zealand on dirty hunting and camping equipment (as a contaminant of dirt, blood, and urine). 

Risk to New Zealand deer

New Zealand deer herds and trophy animals are mostly disease free. If diseases like chronic wasting disease and foot-and-mouth disease get into New Zealand they will devastate our deer herds and hunting opportunities for tourists and local hunters.

How you can help

If you are a hunter or tramper entering New Zealand from overseas:

  • thoroughly clean all tramping, hunting and camping equipment, including footwear
  • purchase equipment in New Zealand or get a hunting guide to supply the equipment you need
  • don't use urine based deer attractants – they are an illegal import
  • declare hunting and outdoor equipment on your arrival card
  • declare any trophies or skins coming into New Zealand.

Our biosecurity border staff are serious about preventing pests and disease from entering New Zealand. If you bring in dirty tramping and hunting gear or illegal imports you are likely to experience lengthy delays at the border, cleaning costs and infringement fines. Save yourself the hassle!

More information

Exotic diseases: take the risk seriously (PDF, 306K) Deer Industry New Zealand website 

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