Public Comment Sought on Proposed Regulation Changes to Disease Detection, Response Rules in Deer Breeding Facilities

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Austin — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is seeking public comment until May 22 on amendments to disease detection and responses within deer breeding facilities.

Removing “Tier 1” Facilities

The proposed amendment would eliminate the definition and references to “Tier 1” facilities concerning breeding facilities epidemiologically connected to deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and positive deer breeding facilities.

TPWD is committed to refining its CWD surveillance strategies system and its epidemiological approach. Thus, the proposed removal of the “Tier 1” designation follows substantial improvements in CWD surveillance for captive deer breeding facilities. The removal of this designation would allow the department to redirect resources to other avenues of CWD surveillance and response.

Requirement of Post-mortem Testing

The proposed amendment concerning CWD testing would require the euthanization and post-mortem testing of any breeder deer confirmed positive for CWD via ante-mortem testing.

Under current rule, only deer that die in a deer breeding facility or deer that test positive via ante-mortem testing in a deer breeding facility epidemiologically connected to a positive deer breeding facility are required to be post-mortem tested for CWD. The post-mortem testing of deer confirmed positive via ante-mortem testing results in the immediate removal of an infectious animal.

Opportunities to provide comments for or against these proposals include:

  1. Online: At  TPWD public comment page until May 22 at 5 p.m.
  2. Phone or email: Comments on the proposed changes may be submitted to TPWD Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Hunter Reed,
  3. In person: The TPW Commission will take public comment on the proposed changes at their meeting at 9 a.m. May 23 at TPWD’s Austin headquarters. Public testimony is limited to three minutes per person.