Iowa CWD Crisis Update- Trial Nearing End

August 30, 2013

Testimony ties Iowa’s CWD Management to Federal Program Standards

 Tom and Rhonda Brakke have now completed their court proceedings with the Iowa Department of Agriculture in reference to their approximate 450 animals at their breeding facility. Though the CWD Standards are intended to be only suggested guidelines and not even officially published by the United States Department of Agriculture, as expected by numerous cervid industry leaders, states are already using and implementing the language and requirements.   The CWD Program Standards document was referenced in court proceedings approximately 34 times. 

As reported in court, the state of Iowa quarantined the Brakke herd, which requires the state to compensate a livestock producer for the finding of an infectious and contagious disease.   Iowa developed their CWD Response Plan in 2010.  This Response Plan requires the CWD exposed animals to be destroyed within 60 days if CWD is discovered.  The state contends that they no longer agree with that Response plan because of the new proposed Standards Document.  The state also reports they have never had a quarantine lasting more than one year. 

Though the CWD Standards Version 22 has not been formally vetted through the public comment process and published in the federal register, the Iowa case shows the realistic impacts the standards language has on a cervid producer when a state chooses to follow the guidelines the USDA has suggested.  The ruling in this case is expected later this fall.

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