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Hunter-killed elk test negative for CWD, other diseases

From Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- Samples taken from the 52 hunter-killed elk during the state’s 2011 hunting season have all tested negative for chronic wasting disease and tuberculosis, according to Dr. Walt Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian.

Cottrell noted the sample collection was greatly facilitated by the cooperation of the elk hunters and taxidermists, but the Commission is still awaiting results of CWD testing for hunter-killed deer during the 2011 rifle deer season.

“Currently, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of CWD-infected deer or elk in Pennsylvania,” Cottrell said.  “Conducting these tests on hunter-killed deer and elk is one part of monitoring wild deer and elk populations for the presence of CWD.

“We obviously need to keep a watchful eye on our wild and captive deer and elk.  Working closely with the state Department of Agriculture and other agency representatives on the state’s CWD Task Force, we hope to protect our state’s wild cervids from this fatal disease.”

CWD tests on the elk samples were conducted by the New Bolton Center, the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory.  Under a contract with Penn State University, elk samples also were tested for brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis and found to be free from these diseases.  New Bolton Center also is conducting the CWD tests on the deer samples.  Results are expected later this spring.

To learn more about CWD, click here.

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