New chronic wasting disease cases prompt steps to prevent spread of deer infections |

New chronic wasting disease cases prompt steps to prevent spread of deer infections

Stephen Huba

New cases of chronic wasting disease among deer in three Pennsylvania counties have prompted state officials to take action against the spread of new infections.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission and the state Department of Agriculture will contact landowners in Clearfield, Jefferson and Franklin counties about “targeted removals” of deer within one or two miles of the CWD cases.

The number of deer to be removed in each area will vary, based on the local deer population. The goal is to remove and test enough deer to determine if CWD has established itself in the area. On average, 100 to 200 deer will need to be removed to reach this objective, the game commission said.

“Landowner cooperation is critical in these endeavors. Aggressive management strategies that reduce deer in other states have successfully demonstrated to eliminate these sparks of new infection,” said Matthew Schnupp, director of the game commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management.

Chronic wasting disease afflicts members of the deer family, including whitetail, mule deer, moose and elk. The disease, which is progressive and always fatal, causes weight loss and behavioral changes in animals before ultimately leading to their death.

CWD has only been found in the wild deer population in nine of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. To date, CWD-positive wild deer have been detected in Bedford (79), Fulton (43), Blair (36), Cambria (3), Clearfield (2), Franklin (2), Huntingdon (1), Jefferson (1) and Somerset (1) counties. A map of CWD positives by township can be found at

Meanwhile, a captive deer that tested positive for CWD will require the game commission to expand Disease Management Area 3 into Pennsylvania’s elk range. Within DMAs, specific hunting regulations apply to help prevent the spread of CWD.

The CWD-positive buck had been brought to a Clearfield County hunting preserve near Curwensville from a Fulton County captive-deer facility, where it was born and raised, the game commission said. The state Department of Agriculture placed the Clearfield County hunting preserve and the Fulton County captive-deer facility under quarantine.

DMA 3, which encompasses parts of Jefferson, Clearfield and Indiana counties, was established in 2014 and expanded in 2017 when three wild CWD positives were detected.

Speaking to the House Game and Fisheries Committee on Wednesday, Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the state can’t afford to ignore the disease.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Regional
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.