Fatal wasting disease detected in Pa. deer

    A brain illness fatal to deer has been detected in the wild deer population in Pennsylvania.

    The state Game Commission is reviewing its options as it considers how to respond to the first positive cases of chronic wasting disease in the wild.

    The three positive test results came from wild deer killed in Blair and Bedford counties.

    Cal DuBrock, director of the Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management, says the agency won’t change any rules for hunting season until it receives test results from all of the nearly 3,000 samples it took statewide.

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    “We’re playing a waiting game. We know we have these three results but we still have results pending for somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 additional deer that were tested this year,” DuBrock said.

    Hunters and landowners are advised to contact the Game Commission if they see seemingly ill deer.

    Last fall, two captive deer tested positive for CWD on an Adams County farm. The wild deer that tested positive were roughly 50 miles from that farm and only 20 miles from the Maryland site where CWD has been detected in wild deer.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence the disease is harmful to humans.

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