After being harvested from a hunting preserve in Franklin County this past November, a four-year-old deer has tested positive for the chronic wasting disease. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture made the announcement last week after receiving test results confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.
This case marks the first new case in a captive deer farm in Pennsylvania since 2014.
Before the animal was harvested, it was raised on a deer farm in Fulton County and was eventually sold to the Franklin County facility during the summer of 2016. In light of the recent findings, the two facilities have been placed under quarantine as the investigation continues.
“We are working to minimize the risk to Pennsylvania’s deer herd by quarantining both farms and tracing any contacts with other deer in our efforts to find the source of CWD, if possible,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding. “We want to stress that CWD is no danger to public health and has never been associated as a human health concern.”
The disease first reared its head in the state in 2012, triggering the Department of Agriculture to coordinate mandatory surveillance programs for more than 23,000 captive deer spread across 1,100 breeding facilities throughout the state.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Game Commission collects samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk and has created Disease Management Areas to aid in containing the disease in wild populations of deer and elk.