The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has new intrastate movement requirements in place for elk, red deer, Sika deer, moose and their hybrids, all of which are considered susceptible to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). White-tailed deer and mule deer are also susceptible species to CWD but remain under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's movement regulations.
The new TAHC movement rule replaces the previous rule which applied only to elk and required testing animals based on the number being moved. The TAHC worked closely with cervid industry representatives to develop new rules that provide traceability and CWD surveillance of elk, red deer, Sika deer, moose, and their hybrids, while removing the requirement to sacrifice healthy animals for testing purposes.
When transporting CWD susceptible species, owners are required to apply an official identification device to the animals being moved, complete and submit a CWD Susceptible Species Movement Record, and provide a current estimated inventory of the herd of origin. In addition, owners are required to provide documentation of negative CWD test results on 20% of all eligible mortalities in the herd on an annual basis to the TAHC. Eligible mortalities are those occurring after June 12, 2013, (the effective date of the new rule), in herd members 16 months of age and older, including hunter harvested animals and animals sent to slaughter. The necessary forms, instructions, complete rule and additional information may be obtained at the TAHC website or by contacting a local TAHC Region Office.
Herd owners are not required to meet the 20 percent mortality testing requirement when transporting animals to a state or federally inspected slaughter facility. These animals count as eligible mortalities for the herd, however, so owners are encouraged to test these animals as well as those harvested by hunters to ensure the herd meets the 20% testing requirement for future movements. Negative CWD results must be obtained on at least one out of five eligible mortalities to qualify a herd to move live animals to another premise.
For a copy of the CWD Susceptible Species Movement Record (TAHC Form 13-05) and the CWD Susceptible Species Inventory Record (TAHC Form 13-06), visit the TAHC website. Instructions on how to fill out the forms are attached to the forms along with a list of acceptable forms of individual identification. Forms may be filled out online and emailed to CWD_movement@tahc.texas.gov or printed and mailed to the TAHC Central Office in Austin at P.O. Box 12966, Austin, TX 78711-2966.
"With the disclosure of CWD in mule deer in the Hueco Mountains of Texas in 2012, coupled with the newly required designation of red Deer and Sika deer as susceptible species, it is imperative that surveillance is increased in those species and movement of those susceptible species be traceable", said Dr. Greg Hawkins, TAHC Region 4 Director.
To read the rule in detail, visit tahc.texas.gov.