Department of Agriculture releases Chronic Wasting Disease protection tips for hunters

ChronicWaste

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HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture released recommendations for hunters to protect themselves against Chronic Wasting Disease this 2019 hunting season.

The deadly disease can affect deer, elk, moose and caribou, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The recommendations follow the finding of CWD in Pennsylvania and across the country:

  • Do not shoot, handle or eat meat from wild deer or elk that look sick, are acting strangely or are found dead. However, keep in mind that most CWD-infected deer do not look or act sick.
  • Report any sightings of sick or abnormal-acting wild deer or elk to the PA Game Commission.
  • If you are hunting in or near a disease management area, place your deer’s head in PA Game Commission collection containers to submit it for CWD testing.
  • If you have your deer or elk commercially processed, consider asking that your animal be processed separately to avoid mixing meat from multiple animals.
  • It is recommended that processors take extra care to thoroughly clean equipment after processing each wild deer.

When field-dressing or processing deer:

  • Wear latex or rubber gloves.
  • Minimize how much you handle the organs, particularly brain or spinal cord tissue.
  • Do not use household knives or other kitchen utensils for field dressing.
  • Double bag high-risk parts and dispose of in an approved landfill.

Hunters can also have their deer tested for an $80 fee through the PA Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System. To learn more about CWD in Pennsylvani, visit pgc.pa.gov.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

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