TAHC Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Herd Plan for Trace-Forward
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Herd Plan for
Trace-Forward Exposed Herd with Testing of Exposed Animals
• A trace-forward exposed herd is a herd that has received an animal from a CWD-positive herd within 5 years before the diagnosis of CWD in the positive herd
• Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) will issue trace-forward exposed herds a hold order restricting movement of all CWD susceptible species pending an epidemiological investigation by TAHC.
• Note: This plan is subject to modification based on new epidemiological information.
1. All trace-forward exposed animals traced to a herd, regardless of their participation in the TAHC Herd Status Program for Cervidae, should be removed and tested:
• If the animal tested CWD-positive, the herd is considered to be positive and handled using a CWD-positive herd plan.
• If the animal tested “not detected”, the TAHC Hold Order may be released. Herds in the TAHC Herd Status Program for Cervidae may have their status restored. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) may have additional requirements to regain “Movement Qualified Status.”
2. For trace-forward exposed herds that are participants in the TAHC Herd Status Program for Cervidae shall immediately be placed in Suspended status pending an epidemiological investigation by TAHC.
• If the epidemiological investigation determines that the herd was not commingled with an animal from the CWD-positive herd, the herd will be reinstated to its former status, and the time spent in Suspended status be counted in its herd status.
• Animals are commingled if they have direct contact with each other, have less than 10 feet of physical separation, or share equipment, pasture, or water sources/watershed.
• If the epidemiological investigation determines that the herd was commingled with an animal from the CWD-positive herd, the herd will lose its program status and be designated a CWD-exposed herd. Herd status may be restored if the trace-forward exposed animal(s) is tested “not detected” for CWD.
3. The CWD postmortem testing of trace-forward exposed animals will be performed at the Texas Veterinary Medical Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station, TX.
• Subject to the availability of funds, the testing of trace-forward exposed animals will be provided by the TAHC. Shipping costs shall be borne by the facility owner.
• Please note: the TVMDL submission form must state “The specimen is from a CWD exposed animal epidemiologically linked to a CWD positive herd.” This statement will ensure the testing is appropriately charged to the TAHC.
4. Both obex and medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes in 10% formalin collected from trace-forward exposed animals are required to be tested for CWD. All animal identification (ear tags, tattoos, etc.) shall be submitted with the entire ear attached fresh or frozen, and must be recorded on the corresponding TVMDL submission form. Diagnostic specimens shall be submitted to TVMDL using one of the following procedures and individuals listed below.
• A USDA accredited, TAHC authorized, CWD certified veterinarian can either collect and submit the above specimens in 10% formalin or submit a whole head to TVMDL.
• The facility owner can only submit a whole head to TVMDL.
• A USDA, TAHC, or TPWD regulatory official can either collect and submit the above specimens in 10% formalin or submit a whole head to TVMDL.
5. Prior to the harvest and testing of trace-forward exposed animals that have been liberated to the wild, the property owner must call TPWD Central Dispatch at 512-389-4848 to request authorization. No liberated deer can be harvested during a closed season without prior approval by TPWD.
• Testing and sample submission requirements in Section 4 are applicable.
6. If an exposed animal traced to a herd has died and was not tested for CWD, no longer resides in the herd, cannot be identified, or is otherwise unavailable for testing, a risk evaluation will be conducted to determine the level of CWD risk associated with the length of time the exposed animal was held in trace facilities. This may include a review of all aspects of the producer’s management, compliance, and record keeping to determine how best to manage each exposed herd. A herd plan will be established to describe required surveillance activities and management practices. All CWD susceptible species in exposed herds will be put under a TAHC hold order pending CWD test results and epidemiological assessment.