Pennsylvania confirms first CWD case in deer

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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HARRISBURG, Penn. – Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture confirmed the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) on a deer farm in Adams County, Penn.

The sample was taken from a white-tailed deer and tested as part of the state's CWD monitoring efforts. The Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg tested the sample tissue, which was later verified at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. The department quarantined the farm in Adams Count and two farms directly associated with positive CWD tests in deer in Williamsport, Lycoming County and Dover, York County.

CWD is fatal in deer, elk and moose, but there is no evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and the World Health Organization. The disease attacks the brains of infected animals, producing small lesions and eventually causing death. CWD is transmitted by direct animal-to-animal contact through saliva, feces and urine.

"Though no human disease has been associated with CWD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people or other animals do not eat any part of an animal diagnosed with or showing signs of CWD," said Michael Wolf, Acting Health Secretary.

Carl G. Roe, Pennsylvania Game Commission executive director, said CWD has not been found in the state’s wild deer population, and concerns over CWD should not prevent deer hunting or consumption of meat from healthy deer.

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