The detection of a CWD-positive deer in Jefferson County recently has led the Pennsylvania Game Commission to expand Disease Management Area 3 (DMA 3) and create a new DMA. The road-killed deer was collected on the northern boundary of DMA 3 as part of ongoing CWD surveillance efforts.
CWD affects members of the deer, or cervid, family, and the disease always is fatal to the deer and elk it infects.
The new case was found within two miles of Pennsylvania’s elk management area. The newly created DMA 6 covers almost 100 square miles across portions of Clearfield, Elk, and Jefferson Counties within the elk management zone, and shares a border with the expanded DMA 3.
“If a CWD-positive animal is found within any elk hunt zone, all elk hunt zones will become a DMA due to the behavior and longer distance movements of elk,” said Andrea Korman, Game Commission CWD wildlife biologist. Korman said that no CWD-positive animals have yet been found within the elk management area.
DMA 6 is the second new Disease Management Area created this year by the PGC. DMA 5 was created in June in response to a positive CWD case found on a hunting preserve in Warren County.
Within a DMA, it is unlawful to remove or export any high-risk parts of deer, use or possess cervid urine-based attractants, feed wild deer or rehabilitate wild deer. It is already illegal to feed elk in all parts of the state. Those planning to hunt or take deer within a DMA need to follow the regulations for the upcoming deer season. Deer carcasses cannot be moved outside the DMA with high-risk parts attached. High-risk parts include: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; and any parts with brain or spinal tissue present. The PGC offers free CWD testing within all DMAs. While there is no evidence of CWD being documented in humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend consuming the meat of a CWD-positive animal.