Friday, October 26, 2012

Captive Deer in Pennsylvania Tests Positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

As the disease progresses, infected
 animals appear to be in poor body
 condition and some become emaciated.
 Many of you may have heard, a captive deer in Adams County Pennsylvania was found to have Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  The positive test was announced on October 11th.  This is a very serious matter as it could have a huge impact on our wild herd if the disease were to get into the population.  It is important to note that to date, CWD has NOT been found in wild whitetail populations anywhere in Pennsylvania. 

Before I get into some of the news releases that have been sent out, I thought it important to first provide all with a site where information about the disease can be found.

In January 2002 the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance was established by a number of non-profit groups to address the occurrenc of CWD in a number of western states.  Their mission was to promote responsible and accurate communications regarding CWD, and to support strategies that effectively control CWD to minimize its impact on wild, free-ranging cervids.  The alliance is still in existence today and their web site is loaded with a lot of information on CWD, including a video series called Shedding Light on CWD.  They also have an informational bulletin entitled: Questions and Answers on Chronic Wasting Disease for Hunters.  I copied the first question and answer below.

What is CWD?
CWD is a neurological (brain and nervous system) diseasefound in deer, elk and moose (collectively referred to as cervids) in certain geographical locations in North America. The disease belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) or prion diseases.  CWD attacks the brains of infected cervids and is always fatal.  Though CWD is similar to mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep, there is no known relationship between CWD and any other TSE found in animals or humans.

The Pennsylvnaia Game Commission has also set up a CWD informational page with plenty of good informaiton including an overview of the disease and a map of the Disease Management Area.

Lastly, I thought it would be important to provide you with links to the news release that have been coming out, in chronological order.  This way you can see how things have began to unfold here in Pennsylvania.  I am sure there will be more to come.

October 11, 2012
First Case of Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Deer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

October 15, 2012
Veterinarian: State should consider deer-feeding ban to combat CWD, Penn State Live, The University's Official News Source

October 17, 2012
Game Commission Designates Disease Management Area In Response to CWD Confirmation on Deer Farm in Adams County, Deer feeding banned in DMA; check station established for hunters in DMA,  Pennsylvania Game Commission

October 22, 2012
Captive deer from CWD-positive farm roaming free, Trib Live Total Media by Bob Frye

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