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Wisconsin Deer from Pennsylvania Tests Positive for CWD
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/20/2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced that a deer harvested from a Wisconsin hunting preserve subsequently tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. The deer originated from a Lancaster County, PA, farm that is now under quarantine.

DNA testing confirmed on February 13 that the deer was born and raised on the West Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, breeding farm. A two-and-a-half-year-old buck from the same farm tested positive for CWD earlier this month. Neither deer showed signs of the disease prior to its death.

The farm has been quarantined since December, when Wisconsin's state veterinarian notified the department of the potential traceback. DNA testing was run to confirm the deer's identity in the absence of official identification tags for the deer.

The department, along with the USDA, is currently evaluating the farm in cooperation with the herd owner to establish a Herd Management Plan to mitigate the threat of this disease spreading. The plan, which all three parties sign, may include indemnification of the herd by the USDA or a continuous quarantine with mandatory testing. A quarantine would be extended five years every time a positive is detected.

CWD attacks the brain of infected 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 or contaminated environment.

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