Isolated cases of Chronic Wasting Disease recently were found in parts of Clearfield, Jefferson and Franklin Counties.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission and the U.S. Dpeartment of Agriculture-Wildlife Services will be contacting landowners for permission to conduct targeted removals or small-scale deer reductions within 1 to 2 miles of these isolated cases.
The number of deer to be removed in each area will depend on the local deer population. The goal is to remove and test enough deer to determine if CWD is in the area.
An average of 100 to 200 deer will need to be removed to complete the task.
The venison from those deer that do not test positive for CWD will be donated to participating landowners or cooperating food banks.
Experiences from other states suggest that CWD will continue to increase and spready to new areas every year. Options to control CWD are currently limited.
Studies have indicated that localized deer population reductions are the best way to control the spread.
“In new areas where CWD is first detected, the Game Commission is committed to preventing the establishment of CWD,” said Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management Director Matthew Schnupp. “Landowner cooperation is critical in these endeavors. Aggressive management strategies that reduce deer in other states have successfully demonstrated to eliminate these sparks of new infection.”
So far, CWD has been found in nine out of 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Locally, Bedford, Blair, Cambria Clearfield, Huntingdon, Jefferson and Somerset have had at least one case.
For more information on CWD, visit the Game Commission website at www.pgc.pa.gov.