Radio PA Roundtable – October 11, 2013

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, we give you the latest on the situation in Gilberton, Pennsylvania, where a rogue police chief had his temrination hearing postponed under unusual circumstances this week. Also, legislation on cyber-bullying and an increase in vehicle-deer collisions in PA…

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting, commentary and analysis on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:

CWD-Infected Deer Appeared Healthy

After 15-years of testing more than 43,000 deer, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has confirmed three cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in hunter-killed deer.  Two of the infected animals were harvested in Blair County; the third came from Bedford County.  “We’ve been saying for many years it’s not a matter of if but when, and I think we’ve arrived at when,” says Calvin DuBrock, Director of Wildlife Management. 

CWD had previously been detected in the wild in three neighboring states: Maryland, West Virginia and New York.  However, DuBrock says they have not confirmed whether infected deer traveled to southern Pennsylvania from Maryland, or whether they are the result of escaped captive deer. 

All three hunters who harvested the infected deer tell wildlife conservation officers the deer appeared to be healthy and were not acting sick in any way. 

The Game Commission is still awaiting additional test results from this past deer season, so DuBrock says it would be premature to discuss any potential policy changes for the fall, but he does note that another disease management area will likely be created.  “So there will be intensified sampling that would occur in any area designated as a disease management area,” DuBrock says.  “There will be restrictions on the movement of deer in and out of the area, and high-risk parts in and out of the area.”  That’s similar to what occurred, last year, when a captive deer tested positive in Adams County

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend consuming the meat of CWD-infected deer, but DuBrock stresses there are no known health implications for humans.  Public meetings will soon be scheduled in Bedford and Blair counties. 

This Game Commission map shows where the new cases area in relation to confirmed cases in Maryland and last year's Disease Management Area in Adams & York counties.

This Game Commission map shows where the new cases are in relation to confirmed cases in Maryland and last year’s Disease Management Area in Adams & York counties.

RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 11.23.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Matt Paul brings you the latest updates on the possible privatization of Pennsylvania Lottery management. Also, Governor Tom Corbett discusses his Thanksgiving holiday and we get a preview of deer season from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:


CWD Public Meeting to Be Held Wednesday Night

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the state Department of Agriculture will be on hand for a public meeting Wednesday evening at Bermudian Springs High School in Adams County. The subject will be the recent positive test for Chronic Wasting Disease in a captive deer on an Adams County farm.

This is the first case of CWD confirmed in Pennsylvania, and officials say there is no evidence that it has spread to the wild deer population. Still, this meeting will provide valuable information to hunters regarding quarantines and other steps being taken to monitor the deer population in and around the affected areas. Three farms are under the current Department of Agriculture quarantine order. All three locations were known to have been in contact with the one deer that has tested positive in Adams County. The other two farms are located in York and Lycoming counties.

CWD is not a threat to human health, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but Game Commission officials urge that it’s never a good idea to eat the meat from a sickly-looking animal. Additionally, officials are asking hunters not to shoot a deer that appears sick, but rather to report the location to the Game Commission as quickly as possible so that the animal can be found alive. The Commission says that aids in testing the animal for diseases like CWD.

The public meeting is being held Wednesday evening at 7:00pm at Bermudian Springs High School, 7335 Carlisle Pike in York Springs.

Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s luck at keeping Chronic Wasting Disease at bay has run out, its aggressive surveillance program has found a case on an Adams County deer farm.

The positive sample came from a white tailed deer at a farm in New Oxford. As a result, the state has also quarantined two other farms directly associated with the infected deer, in Williamsport, Lycoming County and Dover, York County.

Steps are being taken to prevent further spread of the disease. A task force will carry out a response plan, including education and public outreach.

CWD is fatal in deer and other cervids but there is no evidence it can be transmitted to humans. Pennsylvania is the 23rd state to detect the disease.  It was already present in the neighboring states of Maryland, New York and West Virginia. To date, CWD has not been found in the wild deer population in Pennsylvania.

State veterinarian Dr. Craig Shultz says they are tracking this infection. He says staff has been working to identify any links to the animal diagnosed and other herds of captive deer as well as the locations the deer had been in before it became ill.

Hunters are being told to continue best practices of handling deer with gloves and field dressing the animals.   The Game Commission is looking at the case and deciding whether to designate a disease management area.

The CDC recommends that people or animals not eat any part of a deer diagnosed with or showing signs of CWD.

The state Agriculture Department regulates the farm cervid industry. The Pennsylvania Game Commission regulates wild, or free roaming deer.

Whitetail Deer

Hunter Treated After Coming in Contact with Rabid Deer

A hunter is receiving shots after coming into contact with a rabid deer.   It’s not common, but every year the Pennsylvania Game Commission gets one or two reports of a deer coming down with rabies

In this case, spokesman Jerry Feaser says a hunter from Lancaster County field dressed the deer without gloves, and he had scratches on his hands that opened him further to exposure to the rabies virus.  Feaser says the hunter encountered the deer in Chester County on January 20th.

Feaser says the hunter told the commission the deer was standing in a creek, straining and growling. The hunter believed there might be a predator or coyote nearby and the deer was trying to scare it off.  But after killing the deer, he became concerned that it might not be fit for human consumption, so luckily he contacted the Game Commission. The deer tested positive for rabies.

The game commission says hunters should not kill a deer that doesn’t appear healthy, but should contact the commission provide the animal’s location. The commission also recommends that hunters wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing any animal.

Feaser says a deer that has rabies, and a deer that has been hit by a car  or injured in some way, could act in a similar manner.  The basic symptoms of disease or injury are staggering, a lowered head, and strange behavior.