BROOKVILLE — The body of a deer killed along Route 322, near Pine Creek Elementary School, has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.
According to Jefferson County Treasurer Jim “Moon” VanSteenberg, the deer was found along the stretch of highway between the school and the Bob Olsen farm In Pine Creek Township.
Route 322 in Jefferson County is included in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Disease Management Area (DMA) 3. The most recent report from the Game Commission says that 51 deer from the 2017-18 hunting seasons have tested positive for CWD. All have been within the DMAs. Forty-eight were within DMA 2, in southcentral Pennsylvania, and three were within DMA 3, which covers northcentral Pennsylvania.
With increased cases of CWD in the wild deer, the Game Commission is also increasing its testing. “There seems to be testing a lot of road kill,” VanSteenberg said.
During the past hunting season, the Game Commission offered free CWD testing for hunters harvesting deer within the DMAs. The free testing offered hunters a way to have their deer tested prior to consuming it, and it provided the Game Commission with additional samples to better pinpoint areas where the disease exists, so specific problem spots might be addressed.
Successful hunters within DMAs dropped off heads from more than 1,500 deer in designated boxes. About 1,000 of these samples already have been tested for CWD, with the results reported to hunters.
But the majority of samples collected still are being analyzed.
CWD is spread from deer to deer through direct and indirect contact. The disease attacks the brains of infected deer, elk and moose, and will eventually result in the death of the infected animal. There is no live test for CWD and no known cure. There also is no evidence CWD can be transmitted to humans, however, it is recommended the meat of infected deer — or deer thought to be sick — not be consumed.