Saturday, July 12, 2014

Deer farms watching herds for CWD

February 19. 2013 12:57PM
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The state Department of Agriculture is investigating the possibility that other farms in the state could contain deer that were exposed to the animal that died of chronic wasting disease on an Adams County farm earlier this month.

During a public meeting held last Wednesday in York Springs, assistant state veterinarian David Griswold said that more than 100 deer farms across the state could be impacted because of captive deer being moved from one site to another.

There are more than 23,000 captive deer, elk and moose on more than 11,000 farms across the state.

Samantha Krepps, press secretary for the state Department of Agriculture, said four farms where the deer had been – in Lycoming, Adams and York counties (two), have already been quarantined, prohibiting the movement of deer to and from the locations.

The department is currently tracing where other deer from the farm have been moved to in the past.

Just how many deer it was in contact with and where they are is all part of the investigation, she said, adding that the department is recommending that all cervid farms in the state refrain from moving deer.

We'll know more when we start tracing where this deer was and how many animals it was in contact with. It's going to take some time but we're working as quickly as possible.

CWD is a fatal disease that affects the brain and nervous system of cervids, such as deer and elk. It can't be transmitted to humans, officials said.

The disease has not yet been found in wild deer in the state, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will be conducting testing in the affected areas during the upcoming rifle deer season.

The agency has also established a 600-square-mile disease-management area in Adams and York counties in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

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