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A Look into the NDA’s Thoughts on the USDA’s CWD Program Preliminary Document

young piebald deer

Here is an inside look at the NDA’s thoughts on the USDA’s 2016 preliminary CWD Program Standards document. 

Recently, the NDA (National Deer Alliance) submitted comments on the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 2016 preliminary CWD Program Standards document.

To prepare their comments, the NDA reconvened the special working group to address the 12 key elements laid out in the documents.

NDA President and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto, stated this about their comments:

“We were clear in our comments that we feel strongly that USDA APHIS should do everything possible to reduce the risk of CWD transmission from captive to wild deer.” Nick went on to say, “Wild deer not only represent the largest segment of the hunting industry, they also provide substantial social and economic value, and keeping herds healthy and vibrant is our top priority.”

The rest of their update can be found here.

As a little background, the National CWD Herd Certification Program (HCP) for the captive cervid industry was implemented back in 2014. It is a voluntary Federal-State industry cooperative program, administered by APHIS and is implemented by participating states. There are requirements such as animal identification, fencing, record-keeping, and inspections, as well as animal mortality testing and response to any CWD exposure that participating states and herd owners must comply with.

Large Whitetail Buck standing in Alfalfa field growing his velvet rack

APHIS monitors the Approved State HCP’s to make sure there is a level of consistency with Federal standards. This is done through annual reporting by the participating states. Every passing year of successful surveillance, participating herds will advance in status until reaching five years with no evidence of CWD. After the 5 years, herds will be certified as being low risk for CWD. Right now, 29 states participate in the program.

Combating Chronic Wasting Disease will be an on going issue. Anything we can do to help solve, and prevent the issue will prove to be a positive force. Stakeholders such as the NDA will have an additional opportunity to provide comments on the actual USDA APHIS CWD Program Standards when they are published in 2017.


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A Look into the NDA’s Thoughts on the USDA’s CWD Program Preliminary Document