The Veterinary Services division of USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has recently released its “CWD Program Standards Working Group Summary Document” for review and comment by the public.
This document was the product of a working group that included representatives from the farmed cervid industry, state animal health and wildlife officials, a prion science specialist, and USDA Veterinary Service representatives.
According to the USDA, the objectives of the 12-member working group were to identify changes that APHIS should consider for the CWD Program Standards and to describe additional options to consider for compliance with 9 CFR 55 and 81. Specific discussion topics included clarifying the purpose of the program standards, certified herd surveillance and compliance requirements, definitions, CWD susceptible species, ante-mortem testing, carcass disposal, epidemiology investigations and reporting, indemnity prioritization, and requirements for interstate transport of wild-caught cervids.
The full text of the document may be found on the USDA Cervid Health website: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/
aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/ animal-disease-information/SA_ Alternate_Livestock/SA_Cervid_ Health.
The USDA asks that written feedback be submitted by November 15, 2016 to: vs.sprs.cervid.health@aphis.
usda.gov. They have stated that the Veterinary Service division will use the working group summary and stakeholder comments to revise the current CWD Program Standards by early 2017. The revised program standards will then be published in the Federal Register for comment prior to release.