NADeFA Welcomes USDA's First-Ever Cervid Study

CANTON, Ohio — The USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has launched Cervid 2014, the first-ever national study of the U.S. farmed cervid industry, and the North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) welcomes the effort to expand knowledge and understanding about the deer industry.

To collect the data for the study, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is sending a questionnaire and information about the study to all U.S. deer farmers, who are being asked to complete and return the questionnaire within two weeks.

“We urge all deer farmers to take a few minutes to fill out the survey and mail it in. This is very important,” says Shawn Schafer, executive director for NADeFA. “The data from this survey will help guide Agriculture Research Services as to the research needs of our industry and this survey gives every deer farmer the opportunity to let their voice be heard.”

Objectives of the Cervid 2014 study include:
• Providing a baseline description of the U.S. farmed cervid industry, including inventory, species, operation size and operation type;
• Describing current U.S. farmed cervid production practices and challenges, including animal identification, fencing, animal care and handling, trade and movement, and disease testing;
• Describing the producer-reported occurrence of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and the management and biosecurity practices important for controlling EHD on cervid farms; and
• Describing health management and biosecurity practices important for the control of infectious diseases on cervid farms.

NAHMS routinely conducts national studies on the health and management of the U.S. livestock, poultry and aquaculture industries. Participation in the survey is voluntary and confidential, and deer farming operations receiving the study are being randomly selected.

“Participation in the survey will help develop reliable and accurate national estimates about important farmed-cervid issues,” adds Schafer. “This study can provide valuable information that may assist university researchers, extension agents, animal health officials, policy-makers and others in identifying the vital issues and challenges in the deer industry.”

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