Deer in Warren County tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

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FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2011 file photo, a mature white-tailed deer buck stands alertly in a suburban neighborhood in Moreland Hills, Ohio. An Ohio legislative panel on Wednesday signed off on new deer hunting regulations that cut the number of animals that hunters can kill statewide. The rules also eliminate hunting zone areas and set per-county caps on bag limits. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced that white-tailed deer on a Warren County hunting preserve tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The department has quarantined the preserve for five years and is conducting contact tracing to determine any further exposure.

“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. To date, there is no evidence that the disease can be spread to humans.

In 2020, the department established a CWD Core Captive Management Zone, implementing aggressive measures to control the disease in the area of the state where it is most frequent while allowing deer farms to stay in business.

The detection of the disease in Warren County will result in a new CWD Disease Management Area (DMA) being established. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is reportedly working to outline the new DMA’s boundary.

Visit agriculture.pa.gov to find more information about efforts to control CWD in Pennsylvania.

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