DATCP: Wisconsin receives federal approval for CWD herd certification program for farm-raised deer

Contact: Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

MADISON – Wisconsin today received official approval to implement a federal herd certification program for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in farmed or captive deer, according to animal health officials at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Wisconsin is only the second state in the country, after South Dakota, to implement federal rules for owners of farm-raised deer who choose to participate in the program. The rules are now in effect.

“Now that Wisconsin has received approval, the farm-raised deer keepers in Wisconsin can move deer interstate, which preserves a portion of the farm-raised deer economy,” says Dr. Robert Ehlenfeldt, Wisconsin’s State Veterinarian.

The changes for Wisconsin’s deer farmers will involve three areas including CWD testing requirements, performing a physical herd inventory and using animal identification for traceability purposes. Deer farmers who choose to participate in the new federal program must meet the new requirements, which include:

* Testing any enrolled deer that is 12 months of age or older for CWD upon death, which is younger than the previous 16 months.

* A complete physical herd inventory must be performed for all enrolled herds, the first of which must be completed by December 31, 2015.

* Each deer in an enrolled herd must have at least two forms of identification unique to the animal and securely attached by December 31, 2015 or as soon as a new deer is added to the herd from an outside source.

“Wisconsin has had a herd status program for several years, so we anticipate a rather smooth transition to the new federal program,” Ehlenfeldt said.

For more information about the federal CWD Herd Certification Program, visit http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Deer_Farming/index.aspx

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