Cervid Industry Makes Major Progress on TB & Brucellosis Reform

SAN DIEGO-Deer and elk leaders at the United States Animal Health Association made major progress on regulatory reform. Fourteen cervid industry representatives were in attendance. Several major animal health issues were discussed, including TB, Brucellosis, Chronic Wasting Disease, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, and Blue Tongue Virus.
TB Reform
In an effort to make United States cervid TB herd certification programs less costly and burdensome for producers, a resolution was offered by the cervid industry to urge USDA APHIS to extend TB herd certification testing intervals from three years to five.
Specifically, the resolution requests USDA APHIS to allow the test interval to be extended to five years for certain cervid herds if they have been in the certification program for at least six years and there has been no evidence of bovine tuberculosis disclosed in either cattle or cervidae (wild or farmed) in a state or zone within the state in which the cervid accredited herd is located for the most recent six years.
The resolution was overwhelmingly supported by the Subcommittee on Tuberculosis, Committee on Farmed Cervidae and the USAHA General Membership Assembly. The resolution will now be sent to USDA APHIS for further consideration.
Brucellosis Reform
A resolution was offered and approved urging state regulatory officials to eliminate brucellosis testing requirements for interstate movement of farmed elk, red deer, and other cervid species that originate outside of the Greater Yellowstone Area(GYA).  This resolution is a follow-up to the 2013 USAHA resolution that was approved to eliminate interstate Brucellosistesting requirements for whitetail deer and mule deer. Brucellosis interstate testing requirements are currently regulated by state agencies. More details on how states can start to implement these rule changes will be discussed during the American Cervid Alliance Leadership Council meeting in November.
EHD and BTV Data
The cervid industry addressed the continent’s number one killer of deer- Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and Blue Tongue Virus (BTV). These diseases infect and kill thousands of farmed and free ranging deer. There is little data compiled and disseminated by USDA APHIS that details the estimated number of deaths related to EHD/BTV and the specific strains per state. Strains of EHD and BTV vary by state and by year.
A resolution was approved urging USDA APHIS to prepare a descriptive report to present at the 2018 USAHA Conference and each conference, thereafter. The report shall include available data on the estimated farmed and wild cervid deaths related to EHD and BTV per state and cervid species in the past year and the strains of EHD and BTV that have been known to be found in each state for both farmed and wild cervidae in the past year. The industry associations would then be able to share it with their membership.
CWD Data
A resolution was offered that requests USDA APHIS to produce a report that compiles CWD testing data for wild cervids. The report is to be presented annually to the USAHA membership and be available on the USDA APHIS’ website.
The American Cervid Alliance sincerely thanks all the industry attendees that participated in the conference. The Alliance also would like to thank the state and federal animal health officials, and other stakeholders, that supported the industry’s resolutions.


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