Chronic Wasting Disease Seminar

Article posted on January 5, 2017

HOLLIDAYSBURG (January 5, 2017) — Sen. John H. Eichelberger, Jr. (R-Blair), Rep. Judy Ward (R-Hollidaysburg), and Rep. John McGinnis (R-Altoona) are hosting a special seminar on chronic wasting disease (CWD) and its impact on the state’s deer herd.  The seminar is scheduled for Friday, January 13, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at Central High School in Martinsburg.

Chronic wasting disease was first recognized in Colorado deer and elk in 1967.  The specific cause of CWD is believed to be an abnormality found in the brain, the nervous system and some lymphoid tissues of infected animals.  It causes death of brain cells and, on a microscopic level, holes in the brain tissue.  It can be transmitted both directly through animal-to-animal contact and indirectly through food and soil contaminated with bodily excretions.  It has been diagnosed in white-tailed deer, mule deer, and black-tailed deer, as well as elk, red deer and moose.  There is no evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans or traditional livestock.

“It seems as though more and more cases of CWD are being reported each year, and yet hunters and others within the community know very little about this pervasive disease,” said Ward. “This seminar is sure to be very informative for anyone in the public who has an interest in learning more about CWD.”

Wayne A. Laroche, Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management, will be the evening’s presenter.  He will provide information on CWD, including how to visually spot CWD and the management challenges that go along with finding the disease in free-ranging deer.  A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

“Because CWD has been detected in the local deer herd, every hunter in our area should make it a priority to learn about the disease,” said McGinnis. “Anyone with questions is urged to attend our seminar, which will provide the latest information from the Game Commission on CWD and the threat it poses.”

CWD was detected in free-ranging deer in Blair and Bedford counties from 2012-14. “Deer in parts of Blair and Bedford Counties have tested very high for CWD,” said Eichelberger. “This program will provide valuable information for anyone who attends; it’s not just for hunters.”

No RSVP is necessary to attend the seminar.  For more information, please contact Sen. Eichelberger’s office at 814-695-8386, Rep. Ward’s office at 814-695-2398, or Rep. McGinnis’ office at 814-946-7218.

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