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Game Commission: CWD won't be wiped out anytime soon

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 20, 2013 2:02 PM

(Harrisburg) -- The state Game Commission projects a deadly neurological disease found in at least three wild deer in Pennsylvania won't be eradicated in the near future. 

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Chronic Wasting Disease has been identified in one wild deer in Bedford County and two in Blair County during last year's firearms season.

Robert Boyd, the assistant director of the agency's Bureau of Wildlife Management, says the disease spreads too quickly among concentrated deer populations to be eliminated. "If we could identify an animal that has CWD, and selectively take them out of the population, we might have some hope of actually eliminating this disease. But without that, all we can do is manage the risk factors to try to slow down the spread. That's about the best we can hope to do here in the next few decades."

Boyd made his comments on witf's Radio Smart Talk.

He says the agency could put certain restrictions in place to help curb the spread of the illness, such as a ban on feeding wild animals and urine-based lures that attract large groups of deer.

Boyd adds the commission could also establish a new disease management area around Bedford and Blair counties soon.

Symptoms of the disease include weight loss and behavioral problems in deer, but the illness doesn't pose any known threats to humans.

The disease was also found in two captive deer on an Adams County farm last year.

Listen to the entire interview here.

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Published in Adams County, News

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