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No CWD found in PA hunter-killed deer samples

From Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was not found in samples taken from hunter-killed deer during the state’s 2011 hunting season, according to Dr. Walt Cottrell, wildlife veterinarian.

In 2011, 3,766 samples from hunter-killed deer were tested, and CWD was not detected.  This marked the tenth year for testing hunter-killed deer.  In total, nearly 35,000 deer and elk have been tested.  CWD was not detected in any samples from previous years.

Results showing that the CWD tests of hunter-killed elk from 2011 were all negative were announced on Feb. 14.

“Pennsylvania continues to have no confirmed or suspected cases of CWD in wild deer or elk,” Cottrell said.  “By conducting these tests from hunter-killed deer and on all hunter-killed elk, we continue our efforts to find the disease in wild deer and elk in the state.”

The CWD tests on deer and elk samples were conducted by the New Bolton Center, the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory, and the state Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg.  Under a contract with Penn State University, the elk samples also were tested for brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis and found to be free of those diseases.

Heads from hunter-killed deer were collected from deer processors by deer aging teams during the two-week rifle deer season.  Specific tissues were collected from these heads at Game Commission region offices by agency personnel and Pennsylvania and U.S. departments of agriculture animal health officials. 

The state will continue testing hunter-killed deer and elk during the 2012-13 seasons.

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