CWD, Game Commission Designates Disease Management Area in Response to CWD Confirmation on Deer Farm in Adams County October 17, 2012 Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Deer Disease News Archive



Game Commission Designates Disease Management Area in Response to CWD Confirmation on Deer Farm in Adams CountyOctober 17, 2012 Pennsylvania, PGC News Release [see map below]
   Deer feeding banned in DMA; check station established for hunters in DMA
      In a continuing response to the recent confirmation of Pennsylvania’s first case of chronic wasting disease of a captive-born and raised deer on a farm in Adams County, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today issued an Executive Order outlining a disease management area (DMA), which carries special restrictions in relation to deer within the DMA. ... a map [see map below] has been posted on the Game Commission’s website, the boundaries of the DMA ... encompass a nearly 600-square-mile area of Adams and York counties.
     Task force members include representatives from the departments of Agriculture, Environmental Protection and Health, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey/Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Penn State University/Cooperative Extension Offices.  The task force will carry out the response plan, which includes education and outreach with public meetings and minimizing risk factors through continued surveillance, testing and management.
     “This Executive Order will enable the Game Commission and Task Force members to monitor the state’s wild deer population in the area surrounding where the CWD-infected farmed deer was found,” Roe said. “We are relying on hunters and others concerned about wildlife to work with us as we strive to manage this disease.”
     As part of the Game Commission’s order, which is part of the response plan, Roe used emergency regulatory authority to set in place a variety of actions that will impact hunters. Namely:
      1. Hunters within the DMA are prohibited from moving high-risk parts outside of the DMA.  High-risk cervid parts include: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft tissue is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord tissue; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides...To accomplish this, the agency will contract with processors to be available at the check station to serve those hunters who plan to move their harvest outside of the DMA without taking high-risk parts with them.
      2. Hunters who harvest a deer within the DMA during the two-week firearms deer season (Nov. 26-Dec. 8) are required to bring their deer to a mandatory check station so that samples can be collected for CWD testing. For those participating in any other deer season prior to or after the two-week firearms deer season within the DMA, bringing harvested deer to the check station is voluntary, but encouraged.  
     3. Hunters within the DMA are prohibited from using or possessing any cervid urine-based attractants. Such attractants cause deer to congregate in certain areas and increases the likelihood that CWD could spread if it is found in the wild.  Additionally, Roe noted that the order prohibits the rehabilitation of deer within the DMA, as those deer will be euthanized and tested for CWD. The order also prohibits the feeding of cervids, which causes deer to congregate in certain areas and increases the likelihood that CWD could spread if it is found in the wild.
     Roe reiterated that officials from the CWD Task Force, including the Game Commission and Department of Agriculture, will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Bermudian Springs High School auditorium, 7335 Carlisle Pike, York Springs, Adams County.  Staff from the two agencies will provide background information on CWD, offer an update about deer farming operations and discuss the potential management challenges should CWD be found in wild deer populations.
     CWD attacks the brains of infected deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. It is transmitted by direct animal-to-animal contact through saliva, feces and urine.  Signs of the disease include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior such as stumbling, trembling and depression. Infected deer and elk may also allow unusually close approach by humans or natural predators. The disease is fatal and there is no known treatment or vaccine.
     CWD was first discovered in Colorado captive mule deer in 1967, and has since been detected in 21 other states and two Canadian provinces, including Pennsylvania’s neighboring states of New York, West Virginia and Maryland. Pennsylvania is the 22nd state to find CWD in a captive or wild deer population and the 13th state to have it only in a captive deer herd.
     Surveillance for CWD has been ongoing in Pennsylvania since 1998. The Agriculture Department coordinates a mandatory CWD monitoring program for more than 23,000 captive deer on 1,100 breeding farms, hobby farms and shooting preserves.
     In addition, the Game Commission collects samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk and those that appear sick or behave abnormally. Since 1998, the Game Commission has submitted for testing more than 38,000 free-ranging deer and elk for CWD, and all have tested negative.




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