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Hunter-Killed Elk Test Negative for CWD and Other Diseases
Date:2/10/2009

ld not kill or consume animals that appear to be sick.

"We count on hunters to be our eyes when they head out to hunt deer," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "With the help of the nearly one million deer hunters who go afield, we can cover a lot of ground.

"Hunters should be mindful of wildlife health issues, but no more so than in recent years. We must keep the threat posed by CWD in perspective; should the disease be introduced into the wild populations of deer and elk, it is unlikely that we will ever eliminate it. At this point, we have no evidence that CWD is in Pennsylvania, or that it poses health problems for humans."

Not only should hunters shoot only deer that appear to be healthy and behave normally, the Game Commission also recommends that they use rubber gloves for field dressing. These are simple precautions that hunters can follow to ensure their hunt remains a safe and pleasurable experience.

In September of 2005, in order to prepare for a possible CWD occurrence, Gov. Edward G. Rendell and agency representatives of the Pennsylvania CWD task force finalized and signed the state's response plan, which outlines ways to prevent CWD from entering the state's borders and, if CWD is in Pennsylvania, how to detect, contain and work to eradicate it. The task force was comprised of representatives from the Governor's Office, the Game Commission, the state Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state Department of Health, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. Also, representatives of important stakeholder groups - including hunters, deer and elk farmers, meat processors and taxidermists - helped shape the final version of the plan. A copy of the final plan, which is updated annually, can be viewed on the Game Commission's website (

SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission
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