Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 49

CWD - ADJUSTING OUR PERSPECTIVE

WHAT EVERY PENNSYLVANIAN SHOULD KNOW GOING FORWARD
What is Chronic Wasting Disease?
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer and elk in certain geographic locations in North
America. CWD belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) or prion diseases; it attacks the brains of
infected deer and elk and produces small lesions that result in death. While CWD is similar to mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep, there is
no known relationship between it and any other TSE of animals or people.
How is it spread?
While it's not known exactly how CWD is spread, the agent responsible for the disease may be spread both directly (animal to animal contact) and
indirectly (soil or other surface to animal) through various excretions and secretions (saliva, urine or feces).
Where has it been found?
CWD is known to infect free-ranging cervids in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York,
North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Is it dangerous to humans?
There is no evidence that the agent of CWD affects humans. However, public health officials recommend that human exposure to the CWD agent
be avoided as research about the disease continues. Hunters are advised to not consume any deer that tested positive for CWD.
How can I tell if a deer has CWD?
Infected animals may not show symptoms in the early stages. However, as the disease progresses, infected animals begin to lose body functions and
display abnormal behaviors, such as staggering or standing with poor posture. Many diseases can look like CWD, or can occur at the same time as
CWD. At this time the diagnosis can only be made after death.
What should I do if I see a deer displaying what look like CWD symptoms?
You should accurately document the location of the animal and immediately contact the nearest Game Commission Region Office. Do not attempt
to disturb, kill or remove the animal.
What precautions should hunters take?
Wildlife officials have suggested that hunters in areas where CWD is known to exist follow these guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease:
* Do not shoot, handle or consume an animal that appears sick.
* Wear disposable gloves when field-dressing, and thoroughly wash your hands and instruments after field-dressing.
* Bone out the meat from your animal, and minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues. Ask your deer processor to process your meat
individually, without meat from other animals, or process your own meat.
* Consider having your animal tested, and do not consume meat from any animal that tests positive for the disease.
What can hunters do?
Follow the directives in the Executive Orders in the Disease Management Areas (DMAs). Hunters also need to tell political leaders of their
concerns about CWD. Indicate your support for increased financial assistance to state wildlife and agricultural agencies to combat CWD. Encourage
state officials to support the important steps taken to manage the spread of CWD. And finally, because any concentration of deer or elk assists in the
spread of diseases, stop supplemental feeding programs and the use of urine-based lures. Hunters also should immediately report deer that have ear tags.
Where can I learn more?
Hunters are encouraged to contact state wildlife agencies where they plan to hunt for more information on the status of CWD in that state. Most
states, including Pennsylvania (www.pgc.state.pa.us), now have up-to-date information on CWD on their websites. The Chronic Wasting Disease
Alliance website (www.cwd-info.org) is frequently updated with new information.

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD) AND THE PGC PARTS BAN

To help prevent the spread of CWD in the state, the PGC has banned the importation of specific cervid carcass parts from states and provinces
where CWD has also been found, including from our own DMAs. Sportsmen hunting deer, elk or moose out of state should visit the Game
Commission website to see what states and Canadian provinces are affected. Hunters heading to a state with a history of CWD should become
familiar with that state's wildlife regulations and guidelines for the transportation of harvested game animals, as well as the PGC Cervid Parts
Importation Ban. Hunters may not bring back into Pennsylvania: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and retropharyngeal lymph nodes),
spinal cord/backbone, spleen, skull plate with attached antlers if visible brain or spinal cord material is present, cape if visible brain or spinal
cord material is present, upper canine teeth if root structure or other soft material is present, any object or article containing visible brain or
spinal cord material, unfinished taxidermy mounts or brain-tanned hides of any deer, elk or moose from listed states or provinces. They may
bring back to Pennsylvania only low-risk materials: meat without the backbone, skull plate with attached antlers if no visible brain or spinal
cord material is present, tanned hide or raw hide with no visible brain or spinal cord material present, cape if no visible brain or spinal cord
material is present, upper canine teeth if no root structure or other soft material is present, and finished taxidermy mounts. Because CWD was
found in Pennsylvania and Game Commission Disease Management Areas (DMAs) were established, these same high risk parts may not be
removed from the DMAs.
It is strongly recommended that hunters get their animals tested for CWD if hunting in a CWD-positive state. If, after returning to
Pennsylvania, a hunter is notified by another wildlife agency that his or her game is positive for CWD, the hunter is directed to contact the
Game Commission for further instructions. For more information on CWD, visit the Game Commission website at www.pgc.state.pa.us and on
the Home Page banner click on "Wildlife," "Wildlife Diseases Home" and then "CWD."
DEER HUNTERS - HELP US DETECT TUBERCULOSIS (TB)
We want to prevent TB from being introduced into the wild white-tailed deer and elk herds in Pennsylvania.
The bacteria known as Mycobacterium bovis can cause infection in most mammal species. Some wildlife species susceptible to bovine TB include: white-tailed deer, elk, bison, mule deer, black bears, bobcats, coyotes,
opossums, raccoons and foxes. We are asking that hunters who observe anything that resembles this photo
to contact the Game Commission immediately. These abscesses may be found in tissues throughout the
body, as well as in the tonsils and lymph nodes. When cut open, these nodules contain yellow-green or tan
pus. Tan or yellow lumps may be found throughout the chest cavity and in the lungs. The lungs also may
develop dark and firm areas. Read more about TB on the Commission's website at www.pgc.state.pa.us.

2014-15 PA Hunting & Trapping Digest

49


http://www.pgc.state.pa.us http://www.cwd-info.org http://www.pgc.state.pa.us http://www.pgc.state.pa.us

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015

Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 3
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Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover4
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