Decision Postponed on Chronic Wasting Disease Management Regulations

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AUSTIN – On Thursday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission postponed their decision regarding proposed changes to state regulations for managing chronic wasting disease (CWD), until a more thorough review is conducted. CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects cervid species like white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk.

“How Texas responds to the prevalence of CWD in its captive deer herd will have significant effects on the way state wildlife agencies and animal health organizations mitigate epidemiological issues like this from here on out,” said TPW Commission Chairman T. Dan Friedkin. “The commission believes it is important to take some additional time to review the proposed rules, which are the product of months of study and consideration by the department, the Texas Animal Health Commission and a subject matter experts from the medical and deer breeding community.”

Following an extensive public hearing where commission members heard comments from a wide range of stakeholders, landowners and licensed deer breeders, Chairman Friedkin recommended tabling a formal decision on the proposed changes until June, when a special meeting can be held to vote on the changes. Time and location of the special meeting will be announced at a later date.

“We would like to take the opportunity to follow up with stakeholders about some of the concerns that have been voiced,” said Chairman Friedkin. “These are challenging issues that affect all rural landowners, wildlife enthusiasts, deer hunters and deer breeders. It is my plan that we will consider rules next month that blend reliable risk management with simplicity and predictability.”

In April, TPWD staff published proposed rules that would implement the department’s comprehensive CWD management plan with respect to the artificial movement of deer under several TPWD permits, including deer breeder permits, Triple T (trap, transfer and transplant) permits, DMP (deer management permit) and TTP (trap, transport and process) permits.

Additional information about the proposed rule changes and the department’s response to chronic wasting disease can be found on the department’s CWD web page.