Lawmakers address concerns of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer

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HARRISBURG , Pa -- On Wednesday, a House committee met with several state organizations, including the Game Commission, for a hearing on how Chronic Wasting Disease may impact the state's hunting and tourism industries.

According to the commission, last year they detected at least 12 deer infected with the fatal disease in South Central Pennsylvania. Due to the growing numbers, lawmakers are seeking a solution to contain any spread of the disease.

Wayne Laroche, Director for the Bureau of Wildlife Management, proposed a targeted removal method to help stop the dangerous disease from affecting a larger population of deer.  Officials say if no action is taken, the number of deer infected will continue to grow in the next few years.

"We need to commit to building public awareness about CWD and to increase monitoring, research and testing," said Robb Miller, Governor's Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. "Unfortunately, this is no longer an issue of prevention, it's one of containment."

According to the CDC, there is no evidence CWD affects humans, but officials encourage people to avoid eating potentially infected deer.

"If we scare people to death so they don't hunt anymore and we can't control our deer herd then this problem gets worse not better," explained Laroche. "The flip side of that is that as responsible state entities we certainly shouldn't encourage anybody to eat a knowingly sick deer."