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Tom Corbett, GovernorGeorge Greig, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Chronic Wasting Disease Program

As mandated, there are two programs in which premises that have farmed or captive CWD susceptible species must participate. Only "Certified CWD Technicians," accredited veterinarians or state/federal government officials may extract samples from dead cervids.

A properly completed and signed chain of custody form and submission form must accompany all CWD samples for testing from the moment they leave the premise of source herd until the moment they arrive at the laboratory. A submission form; including sample identification, is required with the samples. The form must be filled out completely.

CWD Herd Certification Program (HCP) - Is a program of surveillance and related actions designed to determine the CWD status of farmed or captive deer and elk herds. Herds that complete five years of the program with no evidence of CWD will be designated as certified.

  • Herds start at 1st year status, and advance to the next level annually. After five consecutive years on the HCP, a certified status is achieved;
  • Immediately report any cervid that shows signs that are consistent with CWD (such as pneumonia, staggering, drooling, wasting, or unusual behavior) to the department;
  • Testing of CWD susceptible species, 12 months of age or older, that dies for any reason (including slaughter/harvest). Submit either the obex and retropharyngeal lymph nodes in formalin within 30 days or the whole carcass or head within three days of death;
  • Two forms of identification on all cervids 12 months of age and older. One must be an official identification, the other can be a farm tag as long as it is unique and individual to the animal and to the herd;
  • Must submit an inventory annually on the anniversary date showing deletions/additions and the sources or destination of each. Additions must be of equal or higher value. Must report untestables and escapes immediately;
  • Inspections done annually;
  • Fence height must be 8' and 10' recommended; and
  • Intrastate and Interstate movement is permitted

CWD Herd Monitored Program (HMP) - Is a program of surveillance and related actions designed to monitor farmed or captive deer and elk herds for CWD. It differs from the HCP with requirements and a certified status cannot be achieved with this program. Live animals cannot move from this program unless 30 have been tested for CWD. Then they can move to shooting preserve or slaughter facility only. CWD testing requirements for susceptible species 12 months of age and older are: 

  • 100 percent up to a total of 30 animals per year if sources of animals include non-certification program herds;
  • The number equal to 10 percent of test eligible animals in the herd or 30 animals per year (whichever is less) if sources of animals are exclusively certification program herds at various levels; and
  • Testing requirements identical to certified herd if sources of animals are exclusively certified herds (have been on the HCP for five years or greater)

 Other requirements of the HMP are:

  • Immediately report any cervid that shows signs that are consistent with CWD (such as pneumonia, staggering, drooling, wasting, or unusual behavior) to PDA;  
  • Identification is not required unless submitting a sample for CWD testing, then official ID is necessary;
  • Inventory updated annually showing additions/deletions and the sources. Live animals cannot move from this program unless 30 have been tested for CWD and only then to a shooting preserve or slaughter facility only;
  • Inspections are done initially and then as the regions discretion; and
  • Fence height must be 8' and 10' recommended

Contact

Mary Martin
Clerk Typist 3
(717) 783-5309
 

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