Pennsylvania: Keystone State Takes Steps to Combat Chronic Wasting Disease

By Brett Stayton, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator

Earlier this month the Pennsylvania Game Commission strengthened the Keystone State’s existing regulations aimed at combating the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Beginning this fall, hunters who harvest deer in Maryland, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia will no longer be allowed to bring deer carcasses back into Pennsylvania. Previously, only carcasses from counties in states where CWD is known to be present were prohibited from being transported across state lines.

Hunters will still be permitted to transport their meat across state lines, but not before they remove several parts of the carcass considered to present the highest risk of spreading the disease. Prohibited parts of deer include the head, the skull plate with antlers attached if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present, the spinal cord/backbone, spleen, and upper canine teeth (if the root or other tissue is visible). The new regulations also ban the importation of unfinished taxidermy and hides that have been tanned using brain matter.

CWD was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2012 and to date over 100 captive and free ranging deer have tested positive for the disease.

Last week the Co-Chairs of the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, Representative Eddie Day Pashinski, Representative Ryan Warner, Senator Pat Stefano, and Senator Jim Brewster, joined legislators from around the country in signing on in support of the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act. These letters will be submitted to members of the Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation.

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