HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has confirmed that Chronic Wasting Disease was not detected in an escaped deer known by its farm tag “Purple 4.”
The doe escaped from an unlicensed deer farm in Alexandria, Huntingdon County. “Purple 4” was shot by a hunter last month and tested at the Pennsylvania State Veterinary Laboratory.
The Huntington County deer was linked to the New Oxford, Adams County deer farm where the disease was originally detected.
Last week, the department confirmed that Chronic Wasting Disease was not found in another deer known by its farm tag as “Pink 23,” also part of the original herd.
As the investigation continues, the department will implement herd plans for the remaining quarantined farms.
To date, the department has quarantined 24 farms in 12 counties that have been identified as being associated with the herd where the positive deer were found. Under the current quarantine, deer cannot be moved on or off those quarantined premises.
Chronic Wasting Disease attacks the brains of infected antlered animals such as deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. Animals can get the disease through direct contact with saliva, feces and urine from an infected animal.
There is no evidence that humans or livestock can get the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Surveillance for the disease has been ongoing in Pennsylvania since 1998. The agriculture department coordinates a mandatory monitoring program for more than 23,000 captive deer on 1,100 breeding farms, hobby farms and shooting preserves.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission collects samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk and those that appear sick or behave abnormally. Since 1998, the commission has tested more than 38,000 free-ranging deer and elk and all have been not detected for the disease.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on the “Chronic Wasting Disease Information” button on the homepage.