NADeFA Applauds Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture’s Effort Against CWD

CANTON, Ohio — The North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) applauds the recent efforts by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to combat the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) through scientific research and industry cooperation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) worked together with NADeFA, Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association and individual deer farmers to facilitate scientific research during a recent depopulation of a CWD-infected herd of whitetail deer in Reynoldsville, Penn. Prior to the depopulation, the PDA gave permission for researchers to take samples from the live deer as part of a NADeFA-sponsored research project at Kansas State University to develop an all-new ‘live’ testing protocol for CWD.

“We commend the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for their extremely professional approach to dealing with CWD and working with the deer farmers across the state toward develop a long-term strategy for disease prevention,” says Shawn Schafer, executive director for the North American Deer Farmers Association. “A new ‘live test’ will help detect the CWD earlier, increase efficiency for deer farming operations, and prevent the needless deaths of thousands of animals which are merely suspected of having the disease.”

Current management practices require the destruction of entire deer herds when a single animal tests positive for CWD, however, most of the animals destroyed are often found to be perfectly healthy afterwards. The KSU research, funded by NADeFA and Cervid Livestock Foundation, is developing three testing methods — nasal swab, rectal biopsy and blood samples — for the early detection of CWD and to help prevent the needless deaths of thousands of animals.

“By working with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, state and national deer farmers associations and researchers from across the nation, we can better combat the disease. The department and deer farmers worked together to accommodate the requests of these researchers. The more we know, the greater the chance we can eradicate the disease,” said Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary George Greig in a written statement released by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The North American Deer Farmers Association was founded in 1983 and is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit and serves its members through its educational programs and publications and by providing leadership in setting and maintaining quality standards. NADeFA represents the deer farming industry at all levels of government, and works closely with livestock producers and other organizations to promote ethical standards of conduct and husbandry in deer farming and to actively market standards for deer and deer products. NADeFA representatives are also available to media for expert testimony and information about deer farming and animal health issues, such as Chronic Wasting Disease, EHD and other topics.

For more information about NADeFA and membership, call 330.454.3944 or visit

Since 1983, the North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) has worked to establish and promote deer farming as an agricultural pursuit and to facilitate education on breeding, handling and deer farm management. For more information on the North American Deer Farmers Association, call 330.454.3944 or visit