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Researchers claim cure to deadly deer disease, game commission responds
by Travis Gary, WJAC Staff
Monday, February 4th 2019
Pennsylvania sportsmen are teaming up with researchers from Louisiana State University, who claim to have found a cure to chronic wasting disease. (MGN)
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WJAC) — Pennsylvania sportsmen are teaming up with researchers from Louisiana State University, who claim to have found a cure to chronic wasting disease.
The United Sportsmen of Pennsylvania say a doctor at LSU has identified a previously unknown bacterium that causes CWD, mainly in deer and elk, which the group says poses a devastating threat to all wildlife.
USP is raising funds for those researchers to develop on-site testing kits for hunters to test their harvest for the disease.
Within the next three years, they also plan to release vaccines to help both captive and wild deer populations.
USP is seeking to raise over $250,000 to donate to LSU for test kits and vaccine developments.
Meanwhile, officials with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Department of Agriculture released a statement regarding the disease Monday.
They say the always-fatal brain disease has been detected in some areas of the commonwealth with increasing regularity, threatening deer and deer hunting.
In the statement, officials say they want to make it clear that decades of research have provided abundant evidence that prions, which are misfolded proteins, are the infectious agent of CWD.
They say the hypothesis is accepted by state agriculture and wildlife agencies across the country.
Officials say other theories regarding the disease have not been thoroughly researched.
“By intensively monitoring for CWD statewide and acting to limit the disease’s spread where it exists, the Game Commission remains committed to fighting CWD and protecting the hunting opportunity our largely healthy and abundant deer herd provide,” said Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management Director Matthew Schnupp. “Through ongoing research, our options for best managing CWD might someday expand, and we will always incorporate the best available science in our disease response.”