The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is reporting a deer in Warren County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
The white-tailed deer was on a Warren County hunting preserve.
The remaining deer were euthanized and all tested negative for the disease. The department has quarantined the preserve for five years. Contact tracing to determine any further exposure is in progress and may necessitate additional quarantines.
“Pennsylvania has taken CWD very seriously, taking aggressive steps to contain the disease, using a scientific, fact-based approach,” State Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Brightbill said. “We will continue to investigate and implement rigorous controls on any business whose deer may have been exposed, and we are working with New York state regulatory partners to mitigate the threat.”
CWD is a highly contagious disease that develops very slowly in the lymph nodes, spinal tissue and brains of deer and similar animals like reindeer and elk. It does not affect other livestock.
There is no evidence that it can be spread to humans.
The new detection will result in a new CWD Disease Management Area (DMA) being established. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is working to delineate the new DMA’s boundary, which will be finalized and announced in the coming weeks.
A map of farms that have had CWD-positive deer, and locations of positive deer in the wild can be found on the agriculture department’s website, along with information by county on farms under quarantine.
It is illegal within DMAs to rehabilitate injured deer, possess or use cervid urine-based attractants and feed free-ranging deer. Hunters who harvest deer in DMAs may not transport those deer outside of a DMA without first removing the high-risk deer parts.
Those who live or hunt in the area that is likely to fall within the new DMA’s boundaries are urged to watch for the coming announcement and visit pgc.pa.gov where the most up-to-date CWD information always can be found.
Advice for hunters, processors and taxidermists for safe handling of deer carcasses, and information about requirements for deer farms can be found at agriculture.pa.gov.
Find more information about comprehensive efforts to control CWD in Pennsylvania the 2020 report, “Combatting CWD in Pennsylvania.”