(From a press release) The Pennsylvania Game Commission has introduced a second generation of its Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan, which unlike the first generation, proposes to ban the use of all scents and attractants in the state, and proponents of urine-based attractants for deer hunting are urging hunters to voice their opinions.
”We are encouraging hunters to contact the Commission and comment before May 7to oppose this part of their plan,” according to a call-to action from Wildlife Research Center, inc..
Learn more here
Public Comments can be submitted via email to INFOCWD@pa.gov
Sample email (include your name and address):
SUBJECT: Oppose statewide ban of all attractants.
Comments: Write a brief note opposing this specific part of the proposed regulation. You can use these points to guide your note,
- Using natural deer scents is a long tradition for Pennsylvania hunters, and there are urine-based products from responsible sources with carefully monitored deer herds that are tested to make sure they do not have CWD prions.
- There are several scent companies that are testing their product for CWD prions using the same test that was used to discover prions in urine. The RT-QuIC test is sensitive, reliable and peer reviewed. Products that have been tested have a recognizable logo on them.
- Other states have required scents come from the ATA Deer Protection Program. Less than a dozen collection facilities have met the rigorous standards of this program that goes far beyond USDA requirements, including having closed herds, enhanced fencing requirements, annual testing and tracking.
- Natural urine attractants that are applied in less than 1-ounce quantities during hunting season are not a major congregation risk compared to the millions of gallons of urine deposited by wild deer. If anything, using these products adds additional scent locations to what occurs naturally and makes the hunt more successful, both of which aid in reducing congregation.
- Regulations should protect the deer herd with the least possible disruption to hunters. A blanket prohibition of scent products appears to be intended to be “easy to enforce”, but in practice will do nothing to reduce risk of CWD spread. A targeted regulation that allows scents from ATA Deer Protection Program facilities and/or is tested prior to distribution via RT-QuIC is a more reasonable alternative that doesn’t disrupt hunters.
More information on PGC’s CWD Plan can be found here.