NADeFA Assists in Developing Texas CWD Strategy

The North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA), the nation’s leading voice for the cervid industry, has been working closely with regional associations and state agencies to develop a responsible strategy that facilitates and reestablishes normal commerce after the state’s first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) within a deer breeding facility.

NADeFA, in conjunction with Texas Deer Association, Deer Breeders Corporation and Exotic Wildlife Association, participated in numerous meetings with Texas CWD Task Force, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) to finalize movement qualifications and implement sound scientific practices for the Texas deer industry.

“We commend Texas state officials for their professional and measured response to recent cases of CWD and for their recognition of the significant economic importance of the deer industry in the State of Texas,” says Shawn Schafer, executive director of NADeFA. “The Texas deer industry generates more revenue for the Texas economy than the rice and citrus industries combined, and its important that we develop precise disease prevention measures that help reestablish normal commerce and movement. Texas quickly reinstated Movement Qualified status for TAHC Certified herds and we were pleased to coordinate with all parties to enact measures that put Texas deer breeders back in business.

“Since CWD was discovered in a wild elk more than 30 years ago,” adds Schafer, “there have been some individuals and anti-hunting groups that have used CWD to generate fear among the general public, particularly when it comes to farm-raised cervids. Of course, the truth is that CWD has been known to exist in both wild and managed environments for decades, and NADeFA and Texas deer breeders remain dedicated to assist state agencies in managing and preventing disease.”

NADeFA, as well as state cervid associations, are strongly dedicated to being efficient and proactive on issues of disease prevention and management, just as are other agriculture-based industries. In fact, NADeFA spearheaded the effort to establish the current Federal CWD Certification Program and NADeFA, in conjunction with the Cervid Livestock Foundation, has sponsored numerous research projects to enhance disease diagnosis and prevention. Most recently, NADeFA sponsored research at Kansas State University to develop an all-new ‘live test’ to 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.

Founded in 1983, the North American Deer Farmers Association 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 programs and membership, call 330.454.3944 or visit www.NADeFA.org.

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 www.NADeFA.org