Landmark CWD Research Opportunity

A CWD positive captive herd in Pennsylvania has become the first CWD positive herd in the country to have live samples taken for research purposes.  Nic Haley, a Kansas State University (KSU) researcher commissioned by the North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA), in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), and Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association (PDFA)  collaborated to achieve a landmark stepping stone for CWD research.  22 states and 2 providences have confirmed the existence CWD positive animals.  Yet, this Pennsylvania herd is the first to have "live" animals sampled for the research and development of diagnostic methods and management protocols.
 
Shawn Schafer, Executive Director of NADeFA, and Glenn Dice. Jr., Vice President of the PDFA, were instrumental in developing the framework for this first time event.  Dice shared "I am very encouraged by the vision of all involved parties to step to the plate and commit to being part of a disease management solution."  Schafer added "this has established a precedent for all States to pursue CWD disease research initiatives in cooperation with cervidae stakeholder groups."  Schafer and Dice, along with the herd owner, would like to thank all parties involved including Wildlife Pharmaceuticals-ZooPharm, Pneu-dart, USDA, PDA, NADeFA, PADFA.
 
Detailed results will be available when they are confirmed with traditional test methods upon depopulation of the affected herd. As with all research, it takes large numbers to be statistically relevant. Schafer concluded "Hopefully we will be able to gather additional samples before or during pending depopulations, to allow  the validation of this technology, which in turn could put an end to this wasteful cycle."