The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today confirmed that Chronic Wasting Disease was not found in an escaped deer known by its farm tag “Pink 23.” The doe was part of a New Oxford, Adams County, deer farm where the disease was first detected. The deer escaped its farm at 1491 New Chester Road, New Oxford, in mid-October when officials were removing the herd for testing. The doe was shot last month on an adjoining deer farm at 1305 New Chester Road, New Oxford. Both farms remain quarantined.
Tests are underway at the Pennsylvania State Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg on a deer that escaped from an unlicensed deer farm in Huntington County. The deer, known as “Purple 4,” was originally on a farm that was quarantined. To date, two deer have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. As a result, the agriculture department has quarantined 24 farms in 12 counties that have been identified as being associated with the herd where deer that tested positive for the disease were found. Deer cannot be moved on or off those quarantined premises.
Chronic Wasting Disease attacks the brains of infected antlered animals such as deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. Animals can get the disease through direct contact with saliva, feces and urine from an infected animal. There is no evidence that humans or livestock can get the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surveillance for the disease has been ongoing in Pennsylvania since 1998. The agriculture department coordinates a mandatory monitoring program for more than 23,000 captive deer on 1,100 breeding farms, hobby farms and shooting preserves. The Pennsylvania Game Commission collects samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk and those that appear sick or behave abnormally. Since 1998, the commission has tested more than 38,000 free-ranging deer and elk for the disease and all have tested negative.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on the “Chronic Wasting Disease Information” button on the homepage.