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CWD Testing Reservation Guidelines

August 22, 2015
TDA Staff

AUSTIN, TX – The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) recently released their testing guidelines for CWD sampling. Effective immediately, if you are requesting submission of a whole head for sampling, you MUST schedule with the TVMDL directly. TDA members are strongly advised to read the below guidelines very carefully. Please take great care in submitting your samples with precision and accuracy. We cannot afford to have inconclusive or damaged samples. Should you have any questions about the testing guidelines, please do not hesitate to call the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory directly at 979.845.3414.

Effective immediately, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) is implementing a temporary required scheduling protocol when submitting whole heads for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing. This is to help ensure the efficient processing of deer heads in a timely manner. Samples submitted in 10% formalin will not need to go through this scheduling process. The reservation process is temporary and is to ensure that CWD samples submitted for Tier 1 facilities, and those seeking to attain a higher deer breeder Transfer Category are given priority and processed in timely manner.

Deer breeders can submit samples in one of two ways:

  1. Submit the obex and medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes in 10% formalin. No reservation is required.
  2. Submit whole head and TVMDL will collect the obex and medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes. A reservation is strongly recommended.

The CWD testing process for a whole head is a follows:

  1. Collection of samples and placement in 10% formalin to fix for 24 hours          1 day
  2. Samples processed and placed on microscope slide                                        1 day
  3. Slides stained for immunohistochemistry test                                                    1 day
  4. Slides reviewed by pathologist and results reported to submitter                      1-2 days

                                                                             Total turnaround time    4-5 working days

**The turnaround time may be reduced by 1 day if samples are submitted to TVMDL in 10% formalin.

CWD test reports must be submitted to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) by the deer breeder or agent via TWIMS.    Allow 2 business days for TPWD staff to process test reports and update facility’s transfer category if applicable.  Please plan for a minimum of 7 working days to complete this entire process.

TVMDL will schedule no more than 50 heads per day. Processing of scheduled heads will be given priority over unscheduled heads.

Steps for the scheduling process are as follows:

  1. Call TVMDL at 979-845-3414 and speak to Kim Redmon to schedule a delivery date.
  2. Be prepared to give your name, ranch name and contact information (phone/e-mail).
  3. You will be given the first available processing date.
  4. Heads should then be delivered as early in the business day as possible on your scheduled date.

If you are sending obex and retropharyngeal lymph nodes in 10% formalin you do not need to go through the scheduling process.

For questions, contact Kim Redmon at 979.845.3414, or toll free at 1.888.646.5623.