HARRISBURG – Senator Judy Ward (R-30) released the following statement today in response to changes in the way the Pennsylvania Game Commission is approaching the issue of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer:
“I am thankful that the Pennsylvania Game Commission is hitting the pause button on its plans to cull deer in Blair and Bedford counties. Local sportsmen deserve to have a say in how this disease is contained and controlled. I also appreciate the efforts of Congressman John Joyce to help with federal funding to allow more studies to be done. The disease is not only in PA but in 24 other states also, so federal funding is important.
“The Game Commission has updated legislators on CWD for many years. Unfortunately, this disease continues to grow and spread across the area and the state, and it is always fatal. Identification is a critical part of addressing the disease, and education remains an important part of this equation as well. I hosted an educational session regarding the impact of CWD two years ago with Senator John Eichelberger and State Representative John McGinnis, and I will continue to keep the lines of communications open with the Game Commission and keep local communities up-to-date with the latest information.
“My priority is to ensure a healthy deer population in our area to provide ample opportunities for local sportsmen. It is my hope that with the help of the federal government, we are able to study this plague on our deer population more in depth. The Game Commission has expressed a willingness to hear the public’s voice on this issue, so I encourage concerned sportsmen to contact them to express their view. To learn more about CWD and the Commission’s efforts go to https://www.pgc.pa.gov/Wildlife/Wildlife-RelatedDiseases/Pages/ChronicWastingDisease.aspx or for a direct e-mail contact to their deer team biologists, PGCDeerQuestions@pa.gov, where questions can be submitted.”
CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490