Department of Agriculture investigating possible 2nd case of chronic wasting disease
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Pennsylvania may have its second case of chronic wasting disease.
Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture expect to know by Tuesday or Wednesday whether a second animal from a captive deer farm in New Oxford, Adams County, had the disease.
Officials announced Oct. 11 that a 31⁄2-year-old doe from the deer farm had tested positive for wasting disease, also known as CWD. It's an always-fatal ailment that affects deer, elk, moose and other cervids.
That case was the first documented in the state and prompted the department to euthanize eight of the nine deer left on the farm. Tissue samples from all were tested for CWD.
Tests revealed seven of those deer were negative for the disease. The eighth, though, came back as “suspect, which means we sent it off to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmation,” said Matthew Meals, deputy secretary of the department.
If the “suspect” deer is confirmed as having wasting disease, it won't lead to any immediate action, Meals said.
“It will not trigger anything different. From our records, it appears that the deer was born and raised on that facility, so nothing will change much,” he said.
But the situation remains fluid.
For starters, the ninth deer from that farm — bearing yellow ear tags and known as Pink 23 — escaped and remains free. Officials with the agriculture department are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Game Commission to capture it, and have put out trail cameras to look for it. But so far it's escaped detection, Meals said.
The number of deer farms around the state under quarantine, because they've been connected to the New Oxford facility, has grown from the initial three to 21. What's going to happen at those farms remains to be seen.
The state's CWD response plan calls for quarantining any exposed “trace back herds” and recommends “euthanasia and treat test exposed cervid(s) received from the positive premise, with indemnity if possible.”
The department of agriculture will not euthanize all of the deer at each of those facilities as “general practice,” said Meals.
“It's most likely that we'll test only the animal or animals that linked them to the positive case in Adams County,” he said.
The department does not plan to pay farmers for deer that might be destroyed, though, added press secretary Samantha Krepps.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5148.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Islanders outwork Penguins to sweep back-to-back meetings
- Starkey: No explaining Steelers, AFC North
- Leak of grand jury information could cost Attorney General Kane
- Springdale Library to pay rent to borough
- Pitt football notebook: Panthers’ depth at RB, offensive line shows against Syracuse
- Man sets house fire, kills deputy
- Allegheny County adoption event joins 40 children with families
- The bullet inside your body ‘becomes a part of you’
- Pitt beats Syracuse, snaps 3-game losing streak
- Woman on dating site looks too good to be true: How to vet that pic
- Allegheny County buck may prove to be state’s largest ever taken