Thursday, September 28, 2017

Game Commission Offers Free Chronic Wasting Disease Test For DMA-Harvested Deer

Those hunting deer within the state’s Disease Management Areas (DMAs) will have the opportunity to have their deer tested – free of charge – for chronic wasting disease (CWD), and at the same time help the Game Commission fight this deadly disease.
The Game Commission is installing large metal bins at 26 locations for the collection of harvested deer heads within DMA 2 and DMA 3. The bins, which are similar to those used for clothing donations, keep contents secure and will be checked and emptied every other day through the deer-hunting seasons.
All deer heads retrieved from the bins will be tested for CWD, and the hunters who submitted them will be notified of the results, likely within two weeks of drop-off.
This initiative not only will benefit the hunter by identifying deer that shouldn’t be consumed, it will help the Game Commission assess and monitor progress of the disease and the effectiveness of future management actions.
“CWD is an increasing threat to Pennsylvania’s deer and elk, and our hunting tradition,” said Wayne Laroche, Game Commission Special Assistant for CWD Response. “So far this year, the number of CWD-positive deer detected in DMA 2 has increased at a faster rate; the first free-ranging CWD-positive deer has been found within DMA 3; and three new deer farms have turned up positive within DMA 2.
“Still, prevalence of the disease in Pennsylvania is low,” Laroche said. “There’s still a chance to minimize the disease’s impacts on wild deer. And it’s a win-win scenario for the hunters who bring the heads of their harvested deer to a collection bin. Not only do they help protect wild deer against the disease’s spread, if they shoot a diseased animal, they’ll know about it and can discard the meat.”
Collection bins will be placed within both DMA 2 and DMA 3 by the second week in October. Until the bins are available to use, blue, head-collection barrels have been placed for temporary use at all established collection sites.
The exact locations of all collection sites is available on the Game Commission’s Chronic Wasting Disease webpage.  Click Here for the complete announcement.
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