Pa. Game Commission pulls back on chronic wasting disease ban
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is pulling back the ban that prohibited hunters from transporting into Pennsylvania the carcasses of deer, elk and other cervids harvested anywhere in the states of Maryland, New York, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
The amended rules prohibit the importation only of cervid carcasses harvested within the areas in those states where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected.
In other states and Canadian provinces where CWD has been detected, the importation ban applies to the entire state.
The whole-state ban on the importation into Pennsylvania of high-risk cervid parts — essentially the head and backbone — was announced Nov. 2.
Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said the whole-state ban was enacted to allow for better enforcement of rules regarding the importation of high-risk cervid parts to protect Pennsylvania's wild deer.
With deer seasons already in progress, however, Hough said the timing of the announcement resulted in confusion and concerns being expressed deer hunters, processors and taxidermists. Responding to those concerns, the agency today pulled back the whole-state ban for this deer season, and will work with those who are affected on further rule changes that might become effective next year, Hough said.
"The introduction and spread of CWD in our wild-deer population remains a serious issue, and we will continue to regularly review and adjust all measures to minimize the impacts of CWD in Pennsylvania as necessary," Hough said.
Now that the order has been amended, there are a total of 22 states and two Canadian provinces from which high-risk cervid parts cannot be imported into Pennsylvania.
More information can be obtained the Pennsylvania Game Commissioner website: www.pgc.state.pa.us