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CWD NOT FOUND IN ELK SAMPLES PA

Release #007-06

CWD NOT FOUND IN ELK SAMPLES
Samples taken from hunter-killed elk during the state's 2005 hunting season have all tested negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to Dr. Walt Cottrell, the Pennsylvania Game Commission's new wildlife veterinarian.

Based on a significant increase in the number of deer samples collected for testing, Cottrell noted that the Game Commission still is awaiting the results of the more than 3,800 hunter-killed deer samples collected during the 2005 seasons. In 2004, the agency collected samples from 3,699 hunter-killed deer, and all results came back negative for CWD.

COTTRELL IS GAME COMMISSION'S NEW WILDLIFE VETERINARIAN
Dr. Walt Cottrell, the Pennsylvania Game Commission's new wildlife veterinarian, came on board in late November, and now will be handling all animal health activities for the agency.

"With the growing concern about wildlife diseases - such as chronic wasting disease, rabies, Lyme disease, avian influenza and West Nile Virus - the need for a wildlife veterinarian at the Game Commission has reached a point at which we need to take action," said Carl Roe, Game Commission executive director. "We are excited to have Dr. Cottrell on board, and we believe that he will be an invaluable resource in helping us monitor the health of Pennsylvania's wild birds and mammals."

Cottrell is housed at the Penn State Animal Diagnostics Laboratory through a Facilities Use Agreement.

For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission - State Wildlife Management Agency website: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?a=11&Q=167198