Pennsylvania Game Commission warns public about chronic wasting disease

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission is warning the public about chronic wasting disease.

They say that the disease is a serious threat to white-tailed deer.

Since 2012, chronic wasting disease has been detected in 730 white-tailed deer in Pennsylvania.

To limit the spread, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has created special regulations in several regions around the state.

“It creates gaps in the brain tissue which then prevents that animal from having normal cognitive and bodily functions,” said Jason R. Amory, Pennsylvania Game Commission.

There are four disease management areas across the state. The newest was created this year and covers 212 square miles within Warren County after CWD positive deer was found on a captive facility.

“What happens is it just kind of spreads through organically as the animals tend to migrate and you will find little outcropping of numbers in different locations,” said Amory.

There are new rules proposed within special areas. This includes bans on feeding deer and moving high risk deer parks.

You cannot take any high risk parts of deer out of DMA area. The goal is to prevent the spread of the disease.

Chronic wasting disease also hurts business for meat processers.

Percy McDonald with McDonald’s Meat Packing in Girard said they cannot take any out of state deer unless the meat is boneless.

“When they did that it probably stopped about 300 deer from coming here from Ohio and New York,” said Percy McDonald, McDonald’s Meat Packing.

On Wednesday September 29th, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will hold an open house in Russell in Warren County for people to learn more about chronic wasting disease.

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