Summary of Rule Changes to Deer Breeder Regulations
This email is being sent as notification that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has adopted breeder regulations amendments affecting Deer Breeder Permits. A summary of regulation amendments is included in the links. Additional information and guidance will be sent as TPWD nears the effective date of the revised regulations.
Should you have any questions, please contact the Exotic Wildlife Association at 830-315-7761 or at

Summary of Adopted Breeder Regulations Amendments

Deer Breeding Facility Infrastructure, Inspections, etc.

  • The definition of “facility” specifies that enclosures within a facility must be contiguous (physically bordering, or adjoining each other, connected). Note: More information regarding consolidation of facilities, or creation of separate facilities, will be provided in a separate e-blast.
  • Fencing requirements apply to all facilities authorized to confine breeder deer, including nursing and medical facilities. • A deer breeding facility must contain infrastructure appropriate for the humane treatment of deer, including for the provision of adequate food, a continuous supply of water, and ample cover or shelter.
  • Permittees must ensure that deer in a breeding facility have access to adequate food, water, and cover.
  • A deer breeding facility must be secured in such a fashion to prevent entry to and exit from the facility by any deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals.
  • A deer breeding application must include a letter of endorsement by a person authorized by the department to conduct facility inspections stating that the person has personally conducted an on-site inspection at the facility identified in the application and affirms that the facility meets the requirements.

Facility Occupancy

  • Deer breeding facilities may possess only white-tailed deer or mule deer. Whitetail – mule deer hybrids that already exist may not be transferred out of the facility and must be maintained in a pen or multiple pens separated from white-tailed deer or mule deer.
  • No deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals may be present in, confined in, or have access to a deer breeding facility other than the deer listed on the reconciled herd inventory for the facility reported to the department [except for fawns that are not yet required to be identified and reported to the department (prior to their first March 31)].
  • Species that are not known to be susceptible to CWD may be allowed access to a deerhandling facility that may be included on the plat for the registered deer breeding facility, but to no other part of the registered deer breeding facility.

Disease Monitoring Amendments

  • The section on Disease Monitoring now provides a reference to the Comprehensive CWD Rules located in Chapter 65, Subchapter B, Division 2.
  • Transfer of breeding deer must be in compliance with the Comprehensive CWD Rules located in Chapter 65, Subchapter B, Division 2.
  • Deer mortalities must be reported in the TWIMS system no later than 14 days following discovery of the mortality.
  • CWD sample samples must be submitted to TVMDL within 14 days of collection.

Escaped Deer Notifications, Recapture Requirements, and Testing Plans

  • Immediate notification of the escape of breeder deer, including a detailed description of the permittee’s efforts to recapture the deer (including methods, dates, and times of attempted recapture efforts) and a daily notification of the execution of those recapture efforts is required. Recapture efforts may continue for up to 10 days.
  • A disease-testing plan shall be issued to any property where deer that escaped from (and were not recaptured) a breeding facility designated as Not Movement Qualified at the time of or subsequent to the time of escape.

Transfer Permit Amendments

  • Transfer permits are required to be activated prior to deer being possessed in a vehicle or trailer.
  • White-tailed deer and mule deer may not be transferred to any facility located in a county for which there is no open season for that species.
  • Only the deer specifically identified on the transfer permit may be moved under the transfer permit during the 48-hour time period authorized by the permit.
  • A transport manifest identifying the specific deer in possession while in transport must be physically possessed by the person in possession of the deer during transport if the transfer involves multiple trips, vehicles, or destinations.
  • All transfer permits must be executed online unless the department’s online system is unavailable to all permittees.
  • A breeder deer may still be transported to a veterinary facility for emergency medical treatment without activation of a transfer permit. However, if the breeder deer is removed from the means of transportation and temporarily housed in a location that may have housed other CWD-susceptible species at any point between departure from the source facility and return to the source facility, a transfer permit must be activated prior to the return of the deer to the source facility. • An eligible-aged deer that dies while being transported to or from a veterinary facility is considered to be an eligible mortality and should be applied to the breeder facility from which the deer originated.

Maintaining Reconciled Herd Inventory

  • No person may possess or place breeder deer in any place or facility if the herd inventory on file with the department does not account for the deer, with exception to fawns that are not yet required to be identified and reported to the department (prior to their first March 31).

Possession of Deer in Nursing Facility

  • Breeder deer may not be possessed in a nursing facility later than 120 days following the deer’s birth, except for outstanding circumstances approved by the department.

Prohibition on Comingling and/or Interbreeding of Deer

  • The commingling and/or interbreeding (hybridization) of white-tailed deer and mule deer is prohibited.

Prohibition on Cloning Deer

  • The cloning of white-tailed or mule deer is prohibited except as specifically authorized under a department-issued permit. Clones currently in existence may not be transferred out of the facility and must be maintained in a pen or multiple pens separated from legitimate breeder deer.