Chronic Wasting Disease, Disease Management Areas and Approved Locations

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) affects the brain and nervous system of infected cervids (deer, elk and moose) eventually resulting in death.

Current Status: 
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in three locations in Pennsylvania: a captive deer farm in Adams County (fall 2012); free-ranging deer in Blair and Bedford counties (2012 firearms season); and a captive deer farm in Jefferson county (spring 2014). Following the detection of CWD in both captive and free-ranging deer in Pennsylvania, an executive order was issued by the Game Commission to establish Disease Management Areas (DMAs). Within DMAs, rehabilitation of cervids (deer, elk and moose); the use or possession of cervid urine-based attractants in an outdoor setting; the removal of high-risk cervid parts; and the feeding of wild, free-ranging cervids are prohibited. Increased testing continues in these areas to determine the distribution of the disease. Newly confirmed cases will alter the boundaries of DMAs as the Game Commission continues to manage the disease and minimize its affect on free ranging cervids.

Transporting Deer Carcasses

It is unlawful to remove deer from any DMA unless it is being taken to an approved location.

Businesses listed on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s CWD webpage have have been approved to receive deer carcasses from within disease management areas.

A new online map has been developed to easily show approved processors, taxidermists and disposal sites. Hunters planning to hunt deer in a disease management area are encouraged to review CWD information and the approved locations map. Questions can be directed to the appropriate region office: or


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