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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-58



Temporary Order Designating Chronic Wasting Disease a Dangerous Transmissible Disease

[33 Pa.B. 204]

   The Department of Agriculture (Department) hereby designates Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) a ''dangerous transmissible disease'' under authority of section 2322(d) of the Agriculture Code (code) (3 Pa.C.S. § 2322(d)). This designation will facilitate the Department's efforts to detect and contain CWD and will assist this Commonwealth's deer and elk industry in developing control programs for the disease.

   CWD is a disease of deer, elk and other cerividae and is a member of the group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Other, more well known, TSEs are scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or ''mad cow'' disease. All are thought to be caused by a prion protein that has converted to an abnormal infectious prion protein. There is some evidence, in the case of BSE, that humans may become infected through consumption of meat products containing central nervous system tissues, thus there is a significant public health interest concerning all TSEs.

   Recently, several western states instituted import regulations that require deer or elk entering those states be from herds that are participating in a surveillance program and that the state of origin have authority to take action in the event that CWD is diagnosed. To support our deer and elk industry and to keep these markets open, it will be necessary for the Department to assist in the development and oversight of a surveillance program and to take action in the event that a case of CWD is diagnosed. The authority to do so will depend on the designation of CWD as a ''dangerous transmissible'' disease.

   The Department has authority under the Domestic Animal Law (law) (3 Pa.C.S. §§ 2301--2389) to regularly monitor the domestic animal population of this Commonwealth to determine the prevalence, incidence and location of transmissible diseases. The Department has authority under the law to declare a particular disease not contained in the original act to be a ''dangerous transmissible'' disease through issuance of a temporary order.

   This order is a temporary order, as required under section 2322(d) of the code. It is a reissuance of an earlier 1-year temporary order published at 32 Pa.B. 316 (January 19, 2002). This order shall take effect as of January 4, 2003, and shall remain in effect until no later than January 4, 2004. This Department may: (1) reissue this temporary order to extend the designation beyond January 4, 2004; (2) allow this temporary order to expire on January 4, 2004; (3) supplant this temporary order with a formal regulation designating CWD a ''dangerous transmissible disease''; or (4) modify this temporary order.

   Questions regarding this temporary order may be directed to John I. Enck, Jr., VMD, Director, Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408, (717) 783-6677.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-58. Filed for public inspection January 10, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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