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Tom Corbett, GovernorGeorge Greig, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Chronic Wasting Disease Program

As mandated, there are two program options in which premises that have farmed or captive CWD susceptible species must participate. Participation is mandatory. In either program, CWD testing is required with sampling performed by certified CWD technicians, accredited veterinarians or state/federal government officials.
Properly completed and signed chain of custody and submission forms must accompany all CWD samples for testing from the moment they leave the premises of the source herd until 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 voluntary 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 compliant participation in 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. Participants in the CWD Herd Certification Program must:

  • Immediately report any cervid showing signs consistent with CWD (such as staggering, drooling, wasting, or unusual behavior) to PDA;
  • Test all CWD susceptible species, 12 months of age or older, that die for any reason (including slaughter/harvest). Submit the obex and medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes in formalin within 30 days or the whole carcass or head within three days of death;
  • Apply two forms of identification to 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 to the animal within the herd;
  • Complete official movement documents within 10 days of movement for animals leaving or entering the herd including those that have died, escaped, were stolen, or are wild cervid entries;
  • Submit an inventory annually showing additions/deletions and the sources or destinations of each, including a current inventory of animals in the herd;
  • Provide an inventory verification performed by a USDA Category II accredited veterinarian either by visual verification of one identification every 12 months or hands-on verification of all identification every 36 months;
  • Document additions to the herd obtained from other HCP herds that are from an equal or higher status level herd;
  • Report untestable cervid mortalities and escapes immediately;
  • Submit to annual inspections performed by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture officials;
  • Maintain a fence at a minimum height of 8 feet (10 feet is recommended); and
  • Obtain required permits in advance of any cervids imported from out of state.

CWD Herd Monitored Program (HMP) – is a mandatory program of surveillance and related actions designed to monitor farmed or captive deer and elk herds for CWD. HMP requirements differ from the HCP and a Certified status cannot be achieved with this HMP program. HMP participants must:

  • Immediately report any cervid showing signs consistent with CWD (such as staggering, drooling, wasting, or unusual behavior) to PDA;
  • Test half (50%) of all CWD susceptible species, 12 months of age or older, that die for any reason (including slaughter/harvest).  Submit the obex and medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes in formalin within 30 days or the whole carcass or head within 3 days of death;
  • Provide official identification for all samples submitted for CWD testing and all CWD susceptible species moved to another premises;
  • Complete official movement documents within 10 days of movement for animals entering the herd from HCP herds only;
  • Submit an inventory annually showing additions/deletions and the sources or destinations of each, plus an estimate of the total number of animals in the herd;
  • Report untestable cervid mortalities and escapes immediately;
  • Inspections are done initially and thereafter at the discretion of PDA officials;
  • Maintain a fence at a minimum height of 8 feet (10 feet is recommended); and
  • Restrict cervid movements to within Pennsylvania.

Contact

Mary Martin
Clerk Typist 3
(717) 783-5309
 

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