Saturday, October 23, 2021

Game Commission Expands Chronic Wasting Disease Management Areas Due To New CWD Case In Jefferson County

On October 22, the
Game Commission announced the expansion of chronic wasting disease Management Area 3 (DMA 3) and the creation of a new DMA (DMA 6).

Detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a road-killed deer on the northern boundary of DMA3 in Jefferson County prompted these changes. The adult male was collected as part of ongoing CWD surveillance efforts.

CWD affects deer, elk, and other members of the deer family. The disease is fatal to any deer or elk infected with it, and CWD has no treatment or cure.

Click Here for the complete announcement.

When a new CWD-positive is detected in either a wild or captive deer or elk in Pennsylvania, a Disease Management Area (DMA) is established. DMAs are created to reduce risk of human-assisted spread of CWD.

This new CWD detection is within 2 miles of Pennsylvania’s elk management area. The short distance to the elk management area required creating DMA 6 within the elk management area. DMA 6 will prevent high-risk parts from the entirety of DMA 3 being moved into the elk management area.

“If a CWD-positive animal is found within any elk hunt zone, all elk hunt zones will become a DMA due to the behavior and longer distance movements of elk,” said Andrea Korman, Game Commission CWD wildlife biologist. “If this were to occur, the impact on deer and elk populations, hunters, and the public will be significant. Although this has not occurred yet, this newly found positive deer shows how close it is.”

DMA 6 was created to restrict movement of high-risk parts into the elk management area and to restrict human activities known to increase disease risk.

Within all DMAs, it is unlawful to:

-- Remove or export any deer or elk high-risk parts (e.g., head, spinal column, and spleen) from a DMA. This also prevents movement of high-risk parts between adjacent DMAs

-- Use or possess deer or elk urine-based attractants

-- Directly or indirectly feed wild, free-ranging deer. It is already illegal to feed elk regardless of DMA location

-- Rehabilitate wild, free-ranging deer or elk

To increase surveillance around the detection, a new DMAP Unit (#4760) was also created. Over 1,300 permits have been made available for this unit and allow hunters to take up to two additional antlerless deer. 

Hunters can get DMAP permits by providing the unit number (4760) online or at license-issuing agents.

In conjunction with the additional hunting opportunities, hunters are asked to provide samples for CWD testing. Submitting harvested deer heads for CWD testing helps determine the extent of CWD infection.

The Game Commission offers free CWD testing within the DMAs. Hunters should deposit the heads of deer they harvest with properly filled out and legible harvest tags in one of the head-collection containers the Game Commission provides within DMAs. 

Click Here to find locations of head-collection containers. Antlers should be removed from bucks before the double-bagged head is placed in a collection container. 

Hunters can check for their test results online or by calling the CWD hotline (1-833-INFOCWD).

For deer hunters in DMAs – especially those who live outside the DMA – it’s important to plan their hunt and know ahead of time what they will do with any deer harvested. 

Since high-risk cervid parts can’t be removed from any DMA, even if they share a boundary like DMAs 3 and 6, successful hunters cannot transport whole deer outside the DMA.

Hunters can take deer they harvest to a processor within the DMA or on the list of approved processors for the DMA where they harvested the deer. 

The list of approved processors and taxidermists is available online

Approved processors properly dispose of the high-risk parts. Hunters can also dispose of high-risk parts in trash that is destined for a landfill or quarter the animal and leave the high-risk parts at the kill site. 

The meat, antlers (free of brain material) and other low-risk parts then can be transported outside the DMA.

Deer hunters getting taxidermy mounts also must take their harvests to a taxidermist within the DMA or on the list of approved processors and taxidermists for the DMA in which they harvested the deer available online.

Although CWD has not been documented in humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends never eating the meat of a CWD-positive deer.

For more information, visit the Game Commission’s Chronic Wasting Disease webpage.

[Posted: October 23, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner