USDA APHIS CWD Program Standards Work Group Nearing End

September 27, 2016

Group’s Report to be Submitted to USAHA for Feedback in October The USDA APHIS Work Group created to revise the CWD Program Standards document will conclude its work next month. The work group, which was created earlier this year, has met bi-weekly since June to revise the document. This included a three-day session in person at a USDA facility in Maryland. In contrast to the previous work group that met throughout 2013, this group is focusing more on the policy of various areas of the program standards document rather than a line by line revision. As of September, discussions from the group have been constructive with signs of improving several key areas, such avoiding spider web trace-outs and the use of ante-mortem testing in some situations. The work group will convene one more time in early October to review the group’s report that will be submitted to two committees at the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) conference in North Carolina. The USAHA Farmed Cervid Subcommittee and USAHA Committee on Captive Wildlife and Alternative Livestock will review the group’s report and offer feedback. The subcommittee will meet on Monday afternoon of October 17 and the full committee will meet on Tuesday morning of October 18. Charly Seale, who serves as a member of the CWD Work Group and as a co-chair of the USAHA Farmed Cervid Subcommittee, asked for a strong showing of industry support at the conference. “This is very important for our industry as we have an opportunity to make substantive changes to the document. CWD policy has devastated some states and this is industry’s chance to improve it. We appreciate all the cervid industry representatives who plan to attend the USAHA conference next month.” The three industry representatives who are on the CWD Work Group are Travis Lowe of the North American Elk Breeders Association, Charly Seale of the Exotic Wildlife Association and Shawn Schafer of the North American Deer Farmers Association.

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