From the Field

Connecting YOU with Wildlife – Pennsylvania Game Commission


No. 7 – What do I do with High-Risk Parts?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week seven:

CWD Fact 7

Answer:

Within the state, it is unlawful to export high-risk cervid parts from disease management areas or to import high-risk parts from CWD positive states.

Prohibited parts include the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and 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, and brain-tanned hides.

Once these high-risk parts are removed, meat on or off the bone, cleaned capes, cleaned skull caps with antlers, and finished taxidermy mounts may be transported throughout Pennsylvania. The high-risk parts must remain within those states, provinces and DMAs where the animal was harvested.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.

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No. 6 – Is There a State Importation Ban on High-Risk Parts?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week six:

CWD Fact 6

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was first detected in 1967 in a captive deer facility in Colorado, since then, CWD has spread to 25 states and three Canadian provinces, including Pennsylvania.

To reduce the risk of spreading CWD, it is unlawful to import high-risk cervid parts from CWD positive states. High-risk parts include the brain, eyes, tonsils, lymph nodes, spinal cord, and spleen.

Once high-risk parts are removed, the processed meat may be transported into Pennsylvania.

Click here to see the USGS “Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease in North America” map.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.


No. 5 – Are There Regulations Within DMAs?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week five:

CWD Fact 5.jpg

Answer:

Within Disease Management Areas, specific regulations and rules apply to reduce the risk of spreading CWD. Within DMAs it is unlawful to export high-risk parts, use or possess urine-based attractants in the field, and feed wild deer (which includes the use of mineral licks). High-risk parts include the brain, eyes, tonsils, lymph nodes, spinal cord, and spleen. Once high-risk parts are removed, the processed meat on or off the bone, capes and antlers attached to the skull plate with no visible brain matter may be transported throughout Pennsylvania.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.


Video: How to Find CWD Information Online

Having a hard time finding specific information about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania? The Game Commission’s CWD Communications Specialist Courtney Colley provides a step-by-step visual guide on how to find some of the most sought information online. Click the video above, or here, to view the video guide.

www.pgc.pa.gov

Courtney starts this video by walking viewers through resources available on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website, including how to find a copy of the most recent executive order about CWD in Pennsylvania, which describes Disease Management Areas (DMAs) and lists other CWD positive states. There’s a link to Title 58, which provides regulations currently in place in Pennsylvania related to CWD. There’s also a public event schedule on the Game Commission’s website of related events. A link to a 30-minute webinar on CWD is there, too. Another great resource is our interactive map – helpful for hunters who will be hunting in a DMA. We also have a comprehensive FAQ list on our CWD page.

www.padls.org

The next helpful site Courtney outlines on the program is the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System, which is a subsection of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which conducts CWD testing in Pennsylvania. Courtney mentions a CWD FAQ list on this site, which can also be helpful for hunters, including information on getting a deer tested for CWD.

www.cwd-info.org

The final site Courtney highlights is the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance’s page, which is a great resource for hunters who intend to hunt out-of-state. This alliance is a collaborative project between the Boone and Crockett Club, the Mule Deer Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and more, with the intentions of providing scientifically accurate information to the public related to CWD. The alliance’s recent news section is a great way to keep up-to-date with the new CWD cases in North America, as well as regulations in other states. There’s a helpful U.S. map at the bottom of the homepage for hunters who hunt out-of-state. You can easily find other CWD-positive states and regulations.

Still not finding what you’re looking for?

Courtney has a few other site resource suggestions:


No. 4 – What Precautions Should Processors and Taxidermists Take?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week four:

CWD Fact 4

Answer:

To date, CWD has not been found to infect humans. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends humans reduce their exposure to CWD-infected animals.

It is recommended that processors and taxidermists take steps to help reduce their exposure to CWD-infected meat or parts. Individuals should wear latex or nitrile gloves when processing deer meat.

To decrease exposure to high-risk parts, which include the brain, eyes, tonsils, lymph nodes, spinal cord, and spleen, de-bone the meat.

Avoid cutting through the spinal cord, if possible. After handling deer meat, individuals should wash hands and tools thoroughly with soap and water, then sanitize tools using a 50/50 bleach solution.

It is important to note that it is currently unlawful to export high-risk parts from a DMA or import high-risk parts from a CWD-positive state. This helps reduce the spread of this disease.

Click here for more information pertaining to processors and taxidermists.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.


No. 3. – How Do I Get My Deer Tested?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week three:

CWD Fact 3.jpg

Answer:

To increase surveillance efforts, hunters who are harvesting deer within Disease Management Areas (DMAs), can get them tested for free by depositing the head from their in a head-collection container provided by the Game Commission.

When depositing a head, be sure that the harvest tag is completed and attached to the ear. Heads should be double-bagged and closed prior to depositing. Locations of head-collection containers can be found on the interactive map located on the Pennsylvania Game Commission website.

On average, results take four to six weeks. Hunters harvesting deer outside a DMA, can get them tested for a fee at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg. Please note, this test is not a food safety test.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.


No. 2 – What is a Disease Management Area?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week two:

CWD Fact 2

Answer:

Pennsylvania’s Disease Management Areas, or “DMAs,” have been established because at least one CWD-positive animal has been detected in close proximity. Within DMAs, specific regulations and rules apply to reduce the risk of further spreading CWD.

DMAs are established by creating a 10-mile radius buffer around the new CWD positive. In areas where CWD is present and a new CWD-positive animal is detected, no changes are made to the DMA boundary if the 10-mile buffer associated with that animal falls well within the existing DMA.

However, if the new CWD-positive location falls outside or near the existing DMA boundary, an existing DMA might be expanded or a new one created. Currently, Pennsylvania has three active DMAs.

To learn the location of DMAs within the state, please refer to our interactive map.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.

You can learn more about DMAs in Pennsylvania here.