Expanded Management Areas Unveiled in Pennsylvania’s Fight Against Chronic Wasting Disease

Department of Agriculture - Chronic Wasting DiseaseSubmitted Image

HARRISBURG, PA — The war on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania escalates as the State Game Commission has announced a wider scope for several Disease Management Areas (DMAs). This development comes in the wake of CWD detections in road-killed deer.

In southcentral Pennsylvania, DMA 2 sees its boundaries surge eastwards, extending a protective shield over parts or all of 19 counties ranging from Adams to York. This expansion has been triggered by CWD detections in road-killed deer along the eastern boundary of the area. The new boundary can be found at www.arcg.is/1G4TLr.

Yet, the CWD attacks aren’t confined to one area. A road-killed fawn’s untimely demise in Armstrong County, coupled with a positive CWD result, necessitates a geographical expansion of DMA 3. This DMA, situated in western Pennsylvania, will now additionally guard the flanks of parts of seven counties, including Armstrong, Cambria, and Jefferson.

In a similar vein, the tragic CWD detection in an adult female deer in Dauphin County beseeches a boundary augmentation for DMA 8. This change will extend DMA 8’s protection to certain sections of several counties such as Dauphin, Lebanon, and Northumberland.

The Game Commission highlighted the fluidity of these borders due to round-the-year road-killed deer surveillance. This tireless effort may cause the boundaries to morph once again, well ahead of the hunting seasons. Therefore, the public is urged to monitor the latest boundaries diligently via an online portal.

In a bid to further fortify the fight against this menace, stringent measures are enforced within all DMAs and the CWD Established Area. From banning the removal of deer or elk high-risk parts to proscribing the use of deer or elk urine-based attractants, the Game Commission means business. This no-nonsense approach also extends to the prohibition of rehabilitation efforts for wild, free-ranging deer or elk, and a stern prohibition on deer feeding within DMAs.

Moreover, specific Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) Units have been appointed to enhance surveillance measures. These units will help gauge the degree of infection in the surrounding areas in seven distinct locations ranging from Warren County to Dauphin County. However, a re-assessment of the CWD status has resulted in the non-renewal of three DMAP units this season.

The commission is also providing hunters with an extended rifle season in January in select Wildlife Management Units. This affords hunters extra time to use antlerless licenses, which are issued when a deer that tests CWD positive is harvested.

While these measures may appear drastic, they are necessary. Over the last five years, the increased antlerless harvest in certain units with CWD hasn’t done enough to curtail deer populations. Hence, a more aggressive approach involving the extension of antlerless licenses is being employed.

As Pennsylvania widens the battleground against this lethal disease, it stands to reason that only with collective efforts can we hope to impede its march and safeguard our wildlife heritage. This implies both regular citizens and hunters adhering to specified rules and restrictions, and remaining updated about the changing boundaries of DMAs.

This is the reality of our fight against CWD: nothing short of a unified front will help suppress its spread. It’s a challenging time, and the battle against CWD will require persistence, vigilance, and adaptability.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.