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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 23-1485



Chronic Wasting Disease—Establishment of CWD Containment Zone Permit—Order # 2

[53 Pa.B. 6796]
[Saturday, October 28, 2023]

Executive Order

Whereas, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is an infectious and progressive neurological disease that is found in, and always proves fatal to, members of the family Cervidae (deer, elk or moose, and other susceptible species, collectively called cervids); and

Whereas, There are no known treatments for CWD infection, no vaccines to protect against CWD infection, and no approved tests that can detect the presence of CWD in live cervids; and

Whereas, CWD has been designated a ''dangerous transmissible disease'' of animals by order of the Secretary of Agriculture under the provisions of the Domestic Animal Law (3 Pa.C.S. §§ 2301 et seq.) at 3 Pa.C.S. § 2321(d); and

Whereas, CWD is known to be transmissible from infected to uninfected cervids by contact with or ingestion of CWD-infected or contaminated cervid parts or materials; and

Whereas, CWD is of particular concern to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because it has the potential to have a detrimental impact on both Pennsylvania's wild and captive cervid populations; and

Whereas, CWD has been detected in both Pennsylvania's wild and captive cervid populations; and

Whereas, The Game and Wildlife Code (Code) (34 Pa.C.S. §§ 101 et seq.) and regulations promulgated thereunder (58 Pa. Code §§ 131.1 et seq.) collectively provide broad authority to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (Commission) to regulate activities relating to the protection, preservation, and management of game and wildlife, including cervids; and

Whereas, 58 Pa. Code § 137.34 provides specific emergency authority to the Executive Director of the Commission to take actions to mitigate risk factors and to determine the prevalence and geographic distribution of CWD, including the authority to designate Disease Management Areas (DMAs) and also allow the taking of cervids without regard to established seasons and bag limits and methods of take; and

Whereas, A previous executive order concerning the establishment of the CWD containment zone permit program was issued by the Commission on November 4, 2020; and

Whereas, The Commission has determined that it is necessary reauthorize this program to facilitate an increase in the harvest of white-tailed deer within areas designated as CWD Containment Zones in an effort to reduce risk of further disease transmission within same.

Now Therefore, I, BRYAN BURHANS, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Code and regulations promulgated thereunder, do hereby order and direct the following:

 1. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used under this Order, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

Antlered deer—Notwithstanding the definition in 58 Pa. Code § 131.2, any antlered deer located within a CWD Containment Zone and harvested under a CWD Containment Zone Permit that has two or more points to one antler or one antler 3 inches or more in length.

CWD Containment Zone—Any area within a CWD Disease Management Area (DMA) within the Commonwealth that has been designated by the Commission to receive focused management strategies to prevent the establishment and further spread of CWD on the landscape and that is located within an area encompassing an approximate 1-mile radius centered on a known positive CWD detection in a wild cervid.

 2. General: This Order does hereby reinstate and implement the CWD Containment Zone Permit Program. This program will make permits available to eligible individuals to authorize increased harvest of antlered and antlerless deer in areas designated as CWD Containment Zones during open white-tailed deer seasons outside of and in addition to standard antlered and antlerless deer license allocations and bag limits. Applicants will be eligible to obtain up to one (1) antlered and unlimited antlerless Containment Zone permits. Notwithstanding the applicable standard open white-tailed deer seasons applicable to other Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) as set forth in 58 Pa. Code § 139.4, areas designated as CWD Containment Zones will be subject to the broader open seasons established for WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D.

 3. Eligibility: Resident and non-resident individuals that have previously acquired a valid general hunting license for the applicable hunting license year are eligible to make application for CWD Containment Zone Permit(s).

 4. Application: Applicants shall contact the Commission using the phone number(s) or email address(es) designated to receive applications for CWD Containment Zone Permits. The Commission will process valid applications in the order in which they are received and thereafter mail successful applicants their permit, harvest ear tag, and related instructional literature.

 a. Required Information: Applicants shall provide the Commission with required application information, including the following:

 i. The name, CID number, address, phone number and email address of the applicant;

 ii. The unit number for each CWD Containment Zone the applicant is requesting permit(s) for;

 iii. The name and address of each landowner within the requested zone(s) from whom the applicant has received permission to hunt; and

 iv. The type and number of permit(s) (i.e., antlered and/or antlerless) the applicant is requesting.

 b. Cost: CWD Containment Zone Permits will be made available to eligible applicants at no cost.

 5. Permit Usage: CWD Containment Zone Permits may be used to harvest deer during any open hunting season for white-tailed deer (including antlered only or antlerless only deer seasons) within the applicable CWD Containment Zone listed on the permit. Permits must be signed, produced and possessed by the Permittee with all other licensing documentation anytime the Permittee is exercising the permit's privileges. CWD Containment Zone Permits and their harvest tags are nontransferable and may not be possessed in the field by anyone other than the permittee whose name is represented on the permit or harvest tag. Immediately after harvest, before moving the carcass, the Permittee shall complete the CWD Containment Zone Permit Deer Harvest Ear Tag associated with the permit and then attach the ear tag only to the ear of the carcass.

 6. Reporting: Positive or negative reporting, whichever is applicable, is required for each CWD Containment Zone Permit issued. Permittees shall report all successful harvests within ten (10) days after the harvest. Permittees shall report all negative harvests within ten (10) days after the close of the final white-tailed deer season applicable to the CWD Containment Zone listed on the permit. All reports shall made in accordance with the instructions provided with the permit. Failure to report as required is a violation of this Order and may result in criminal prosecution and/or render the Permittee ineligible to make application for this program the following license/permit year, should it be extended.

 7. Permittees exercising any privilege granted by a CWD Containment Zone Permit shall comply with all applicable arms, ammunition, methods of take, protective material (fluorescent orange) and any special licensing requirements pertaining to the open white-tailed deer hunting season then in effect within each applicable Wildlife Management Unit.

 8. The requirements and restrictions of this Order are to be construed as separate from and in addition to any previous or future Executive Orders concerning the importation of high risk cervid parts from areas outside of this Commonwealth or response to CWD within the Commonwealth.

 9. This Order shall not be construed in any manner to limit the Commission's authority to establish additional importation, exportation, possession, transportation or testing requirements on cervid parts or materials.

 10. The previous executive order concerning the establishment of the CWD containment zone permit program that was issued by the Commission on November 4, 2020, and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on November 21, 2020, at 50 Pa.B. 6747, is hereby rescinded in its entirety and replaced by this Order.

 11. This Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until rescinded or modified by subsequent order.

 Given under my hand and seal of the Pennsylvania Game Commission on this 12th day of October, 2023.

Executive Director

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 23-1485. Filed for public inspection October 27, 2023, 9:00 a.m.]

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