For the second time this month, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is testing deer for the deadly chronic wasting disease.
Earlier this month, the commission announced the confirmation of the first case of the disease in free-ranging whitetails after a buck was shot by a wildlife conservation officer on June 7. The deer displayed the physical characteristics of CWD and after testing was confirmed as CWD-positive.
This week, a pair of deer were discovered about 20 miles north of Disease Management Area 3, within the state’s Elk Management Area, both wearing identification tags in their ears. Indicating that the animals were likely the product of a captive breeding facility at one point, an investigation was launched and the pair of deer were euthanized by officials.
“The deer are currently being examined by the Commission’s wildlife veterinarian, who will conduct an initial test to determine whether either deer was infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD),” said Wayne Laroche, the Commission’s Special Assistant for CWD Response.
Working closely with the Department of Agriculture, who handles the captive breeding industry in Pennsylvania, the commission is in a state of elevated alert after the recent discovery.
“This is disturbing news following the discovery a CWD-positive wild deer earlier this month in DMA 3,” Laroche said. “With the Department of Agriculture’s assistance, we will do all in our power to sort out what happened quickly and take appropriate action.”