TRR photo by Scott Rando

The deer in this region are free from CWD, a disease which affects the brain and nervous system of deer and other cervids. An animal affected may appear to stagger or stand with legs splayed. An infected animal will eventually stop feeding and become emaciated. The disease is 100% fatal. At this time, prevention consists of keeping infected deer or parts out of un-infected areas. 

New regulations to control CWD in PA

With September in full swing, many people are preparing for the fall hunting season, and many deer hunters will be in the field for the start of archery season, which will start in less than a month’s time. For Pennsylvania hunters who harvest a deer in New York or other states and want to bring back all or part of the animal to PA, there is a new regulation issued by the PA Game Commission (PGC) on what parts of the deer can be imported. Bringing the whole field-dressed deer in no longer legal if harvested in any affected state mentioned below. The new rules deal with lowering the risk of importing animal parts infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

The parts ban now covers 24 states according to a September 4 press release from the PGC; high-risk parts include the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft tissue is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord tissue; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides

Processed meat, tanned hides, cleaned skull plates and other parts free of anything listed in the previous paragraph can be imported as well as finished taxidermy mounts. The parts ban covers deer, elk, moose, and any other cervid. The states/provinces for which this importation ban is in effect are Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

At this time, there are no reports of CWD occurrence in our region; the new rule is designed to prevent the spread of CWD into the area. If you hunt within one of the listed states, use a meat processor and/or taxidermist from within that state. You can also process the meat yourself within the state you harvested the deer. Although there is no evidence of CWD infecting humans, many professionals recommend the use of latex gloves when field dressing or processing deer within a CWD area.


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