2013-03-14 / Local & State

Game Commission Schedules CWD Public Meeting

Pennsylvania Game Commission Southcentral Region Director Brad Myers has announced the agency will hold a public meeting on chronic wasting disease Wednesday, March 20, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Spring Cove Middle School auditorium, 185 Spring Grove Circle, Roaring Spring, Blair County.

Pennsylvania Game Commission staff will be present to provide information on the recent discovery of CWD in three hunter-harvested deer from Blair and Bedford counties, as well as the latest news on this evolving situation, and background information on CWD. Agency staff also will discuss the management challenges that go along with finding CWD in the free-ranging deer population.

On March 4, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe announced these were the first confirmed positive cases of CWD in free-ranging deer in Pennsylvania. The disease was first documented in early October 2012, by the state Department of Agriculture in a captive deer on an Adams County deer farm.

First discovered in Colorado in 1967, Pennsylvania is the 23rd state to have discovered CWD within its borders. CWD affects only cervids, and is fatal in deer, elk and moose. There is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The World Health Organization.

At the present time, there is no live test for the disease and no treatment or cure exists. The disease is caused by an abnormal protein that results in small holes to form in the animal’s brain. Outward appearances would include drooping ears, the head hanging down, excessive thirst and urination, loss of fear of humans, a general disheveled appearance, but most importantly, severe loss of body mass. Since 1998, the Game Commission has gathered and submitted more than 43,000 samples from free-ranging deer and elk for CWD testing. This is the first time that the disease has been detected in any of those samples.

For more information from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, visit the agency’s Web site: www.pgc.state.pa.us (click on “CWD Info”).

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