Game Wardens Investigating Increased Deer Deaths in Chester County

Image via Harrisburg Patriot-News.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, game wardens are currently investigating reports of increased dear deaths in Chester and Bucks counties, writes Marcus Schneck for the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

They are following up on reports submitted to the Commission’s Southeast Region office, confirming the deaths and taking samples from the dead animals.

We “have submitted numerous samples to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study laboratory in Georgia to determine the cause,” said Southeast Region Director Bruce Metz.

Similar deer deaths have previously occurred in other parts of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. It was discovered that they were caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease. EHD is a disease caused by a virus infecting white-tailed deer populations. The often-fatal condition is contracted through the bite of insects called biting midges.

The same cause is suspected in the deaths in Chester and Berks counties, but confirmation has not yet been received from the SCWDS’s laboratory.

Deer displaying severe EHD symptoms are not suitable for consumption due to the rapid deterioration of their meat and secondary bacterial infections. This is why hunters handling any animal should wear rubber or latex gloves and wash their hands and tools afterwards.

Read more about the increased deer deaths in Chester County in the Harrisburg Patriot-News here.

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