Hunter-killed elk test negative for CWD and other diseases

Harrisburg — Samples taken from the
43 hunter-killed elk during the state’s 2009 hunting season have
all tested negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to
Dr. Walt Cottrell, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s wildlife
veterinarian. 

 

Samples also tested negative for
brucellosis and tuberculosis.

 

Cottrell noted that the Game
Commission still is awaiting the results of CWD testing for the
hunter-killed deer samples collected during the 2009 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 the Game Commission’s ongoing efforts to monitor
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, which is the University of
Pennsylvania’s veterinary diagnostics laboratory.  Under a contract
with Penn State University, the 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, visit the
agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the
“Wildlife” in menu bar in the banner, then choose “Wildlife
Diseases” and click on “Chronic Wasting
Disease.”

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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