##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################
IMPLEMENTATION OF A GEOGRAPHICALLY FOCUSED CWD SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM FOR
A geographically-focused free-ranging cervid Monitoring Program was
implemented during the fall 2002 deer-hunting season. Brain stem samples
from hunter-killed deer will be obtained from TPWD Wildlife Management
Areas (WMA), State Parks, and where otherwise available with hunter
and/or landowner permission, from deer taken on private land. Volume 1,
Sixth Edition of United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Regulatory
Statistics (Appendix D1
indicates that 148 samples is sufficient to detect disease at two
per-cent prevalence, regardless of the population size. Therefore the
goal is to acquire 148 samples from each of the State's ten ecoregions
provided adequate sampling distribution is achieved across each
ecoregion. The five year 2002 -2006, goal is to cumulatively collect 459
samples from each of the ten ecoregions. The cumulative sample would be
used statistically to detect CWD at one per-cent prevalence level with
99 per-cent confidence. However, funding from APHIS/USDA could provide
the necessary funds for sampling at the one per-cent prevalence level
each year. TAHC conducted a risk assessment of counties where deer and
elk have been imported and where high densities of free-ranging deer
occur. The assessment was conducted for USDA funding consideration. The
risk assessment was based on limited number of criteria. Since CWD could
potentially occur anywhere in Texas, monitoring efforts would be focused
to achieve a stratified sampling scheme across each ecoregion of the State.
Confidentiality laws restrict the type of data TPWD personnel can
collect as it relates to a specific parcel of land. Therefore, personnel
will ensure that no property specific information is collected (i.e.
ranch name or exact location) without the landowner's written
permission. The following are guidelines for data and sample collection
distributed to TPWD personnel prior to sample collection:
1. A Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Accession
Form must be submitted with brain stem samples.
2. The most important items to be filled out are the TPWD employee
name, address and phone number, and "Patient/Deer ID". County of
Kill can be recorded on the bottom of the form, but DO NOT report
any information that identifies the specific parcel of land.
3. The "Patient/Deer ID" number MUST BE specific to the field data
sheet the employee is using to record data.
4. Specific CWD field data sheets will not be provided, as current
field data sheets (i.e. Age/Weight Antler Data Sheets, Hunter
Check Station Data Sheets, etc.) will be appropriate in most
cases. Field staff may produce their own CWD data sheet if necessary.
5. The field data sheet must contain:
1. Employee Name
2. Sample Number (same as Patient/Deer ID on TVMDL Accession Form
3. Sample Date
4. Deer Age
5. Deer Sex
6. County of Kill
7. Hunter Name
8. Hunting License Number
9. Ranch name or tract name/location ONLY with landowner
6. Should a CWD positive be detected, TAHC will use hunter contact
information to conduct CWD investigation under their regulatory
7. Make sure the container containing the brain stem sample is
legibly identified with the sample number, deer age and sex,
county of kill and date. Although the sample number is all that is
needed, additional information will help resolve any problems
should batches of samples be combined.
8. Should a landowner retain deer heads for our sampling purposes,
remind the landowner to issue the hunters a proof of sex document
as provided for in TAHC 65.10 (c). In addition, a Wildlife
resource document (PWD 905) must accompany the head until the
carcass reaches a final destination and finally processed.
9. Samples MAY NOT be taken from legally harvested deer without the
ACTIONS SHOULD A CWD POSITIVE BE DETECTED
Should sampling detect a CWD positive animal, TAHC and TPWD would
activate the Media Response Plan (Appendix F
TAHC and TPWD would immediately begin review of the information at hand
and determine the action to be taken within the Response Plan (Appendix
The first action should be to inform landowners adjacent to the property
containing the CWD positive and hold a meeting with advisory committees
and affected landowner to discuss plans for secondary sampling. Planning
for secondary sampling, investigating movements of deer into and away
from property for further actions would then be the next step. The
secondary sampling is critical for determining distribution and
prevalence of the disease.
As distribution and prevalence is being determined, information review
and discussions with TPWD advisory committees (e.g., Private Lands
Advisory Board, Hunting Advisory Committee, White-tailed Deer Advisory
Committee etc.) and landowners would take place in order to determine
the appropriate management action to be taken.
APPENDIX A: Results of CWD Sampling
Sampling and testing results for CWD from June, 2002 to April 1, 2003
are presented below:
Sampling and testing results for CWD from June, 2002 to April 1, 2003
TPWD TAHC Private Sector
1349 CWD Negative Deer 335 CWD Negative Deer 336 CWD Negative Deer
23 CWD Negative Exotics No Exotics No Exotics
1372 Total 335 Total 336 Total
The Grand Total of all samples collected and known 4/1/03 is 2043 of
which 2020 deer and 23 exotics were found CWD negative. Samples were
collected from 143 of 254 counties in Texas, and seven counties had 50
or more samples collected. Five ecoregions had 160 or more samples
collected (150 samples from each ecoregion was the goal). The geographic
distribution of sampling is currently not considered adequate for
determining whether or not CWD exists in Texas (see map pg. 15). The
goal is to improve upon distribution of samples collected within
ecoregions and within counties. The goal of 2003-2004 and the next three
to five years, is to collect 5000 samples (500 from each ecoregion) each
sample year. The increased sampling is to have a 99 per-cent confidence
level in detecting CWD if only one per-cent of the population is
infected. Long-term surveillance sampling for CWD is required, as little
is known about the incubation and infectious periods of the disease.
SEE MAP OF TEXAS CWD TESTING
APPENDIX B: Chronic Wasting Disease - Status of Current Knowledge
Occurrence and Distribution
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform
encephalopathy, which is a disease that alters the structure of the
brain, in a way that resembles a sponge-like appearance and texture.
Much is not known about CWD, including its origin, exact mode of
transmission, and the causative or etiological agent. The source of CWD
may be related in some way to scrapie in domestic sheep; it may
"represent a spontaneous, naturally occurring" form of this disease in
cervids thought to be caused by a "low virus infection." A more
plausible theory is that CWD is caused by a point mutation of a
membrane-bound protein resulting in accumulations of
proteinase-resistant proteins called "prions" in the brain (medulla
oblongata), tonsils (in deer only), and lymphoid tissue.
The only known long-term distribution of CWD in free-ranging susceptible
cervids includes two contiguous local areas in northeastern Colorado and
southeastern Wyoming. Up to 15% and less than 1% prevalence were
reported for mule deer and elk, respectively, in certain management
units. Two cases of CWD occurred in mule deer in the southwestern corner
of the panhandle of Nebraska, which is close to the endemic area of
Colorado and Wyoming. Both of these latter animals were close enough to
have originated from the endemic area. More recently, CWD was diagnosed
in deer in Nebraska within and outside a fenced pasture of a captive
operation where elk were diagnosed with the disease. Infections in
captive elk also have been documented in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana,
Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Kansas. In early 2002, CWD was detected in
free-ranging white-tailed deer in South Dakota and Wisconsin, later the
disease was found in breeder pens in northern Wisconsin. Cases of CWD
have been documented in captive elk and free ranging mule deer in
Saskatchewan and Ontario as well. New Mexico discovered CWD in a
free-ranging mule deer on the White Sands Missile Range, Minnesota found
CWD in a captive elk herd, Illinois detected CWD in a free-ranging
white-tailed deer and an infected white-tailed deer was found in a
breeding facility in Alberta.
Incubation, Transmission, and Clinical Course of CWD
Incubation time, that time from infection to appearance of clinical
signs, typically is less than 2 years (18-24 months). However,
incubation time can be variable and ranges up to 36 months. The exact
mode of transmission of CWD is unknown; however, circumstantial and
experimental data indicate horizontal (or lateral) transmission in
captive susceptible cervids, either by direct animal-to-animal contact
or by environmental contamination. For susceptible cervids, the routes
of transmission are presumed to be by exposure to saliva, urine, feces,
or placental tissue, with infection occurring through the alimentary
canal (mouth/nose - esophagus - stomach - intestines). If this
transmission mode is confirmed for free-ranging deer or elk, it could
potentially exacerbate the risk of infection. In contrast to outbreaks
of mad cow disease, where exposure to animal protein-contaminated feed
was documented, this has not been the case for captive or wild cervids
infected with CWD. Presently, feed contamination is not considered a
likely underlying transmission mechanism. Whereas, the importance of
maternal transmission (mother to fetus or nursing young) as a mode of
scrapie transmission in domestic sheep has at least been debated, its
importance relative to CWD persistence in captive and wild cervid herds
has been contraindicated thus far by current reports. Although the route
of agent shedding from infected individuals is presently unknown, it is
believed that the rate of agent shedding may very well increase as the
disease progresses. Thus far, evidence also indicates that there is no
difference between males and females or across age classes in
susceptibility to CWD.
Importantly, natural transmission of TSEs (i.e., BSE, CWD) between
domesticated bovines (i.e., cattle, bison), sheep and cervids has not
been documented. Deer, domestic cattle and sheep have been
experimentally inoculated with brain tissue containing (PrP(res)) from
CWD - infected mule deer, and 2 years later, only the deer have become
infected with CWD. However, healthy deer have been inoculated with brain
tissue from scrapie-infected sheep, and the deer developed spongiform
The clinical course of CWD is about 12 months. That is, once clinical
signs are apparent, cervids rarely survive more than 12 months. Chronic
wasting disease is a progressive, fatal disease, with no vaccine to
prevent the disease or treatment for reversing the disease (recovery),
and there is no evidence of immunity. There has been no effective,
practical ante mortem (live-animal) test for diagnosis until recently; a
live-test for deer (not elk) involving tonsil biopsy and
immunohistochemical analysis for (PrR (res)) accumulation has
demonstrated promise, and may be more sensitive than the post-mortem
analysis of the obex of the medulla oblongata in the brain. The
practicality of this test remains to be decided.
Clinical Signs of CWD
All signs or symptoms of CWD do not occur in all cases, and many of
these signs are symptoms of other diseases and conditions as well.
Further, the occurrence and severity of symptoms will depend in part on
the stage (early versus advanced) of the disease. Below is a
comprehensive list of the clinical signs of CWD: (1) loss of fear of
humans; (2) nervousness or hyper-excitability; (3) teeth-grinding; (4)
ataxia or loss of coordination; (5) notable weakness; (6)
intractability; (7) inability to stand; (8) rough dull hair coat; (9)
excessive salivation; (10) flaccid, hypotonia of the facial muscles;
(11) drooping of the head and ears; (12) excessive thirst (polydipsia);
(13) excessive urination (polyuria); (14) esophageal hypotonia and
dilation, difficulty swallowing, and regurgitating ruminal fluid and
ingesta; and (15) severe emaciation and dehydration.
It is important to note that while some primary symptoms may be directly
related to CWD, others may be secondary, more of a consequence of the
deteriorating body condition (emaciation) and related physiology (e.g.,
pneumonia, abscesses, enteritis, or internal parasitism that may often
Pathological Signs of CWD
Pathological signs of the disease include: (1) emaciation associated
with absence or serous atrophy of subcutaneous and visceral adipose
tissue or fat, and yellow gelatinous bone marrow; (2) sub acute to
chronic bronchopneumonia; (3) digestive tract (abomasal or omasal)
ulcers; (4) enlarged adrenal glands; (5) watery or frothy rumen
contents; and (6) histological lesions. These lesions have primarily and
most consistently been observed in the brain and spinal cord. (7)
Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is very sensitive and specific to CWD and is
typically used to confirm diagnoses by measuring accumulations of
proteinase-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) in brain tissues
(specifically in the obex of the medulla oblongata) of infected deer and
elk. This prion protein is indistinguishable from the scrapie-associated
prion protein (PrP(Sc)) found in brain tissues of domestic sheep
infected with scrapie, but other differences have been noted. (PrP(res))
has not been detected in uninfected cervids. This test can detect CWD
infection before lesions are observable; however, IHC (+) results are
not detected until at least three months after infection. Lesions do not
always accompany (PrP(res)) accumulation and IHC (+) results. (8)
Scrapie associated fibrils (SAFs) have been observed by electron
microscopy in the brain tissue of infected cervids, but not in
uninfected cervids. (9) Generally, blood (whole blood and serum) and
urine profiles have remained within the normal range, with the exception
that certain characteristics have reflected the emaciated condition of
the infected animals. Low specific gravity of the urine, is the one
urine characteristic that may be directly related to CWD, specifically
to degenerative encephalopathic changes in the hypothalamus. The
hypothalamus is important in regulating anti diuretic hormone, which
influences concentrations of urinary electrolytes (e.g., Na) and
APPENDIX C: Importation of Susceptible Cervids
On March 20, 2002, the Texas Animal Health Commission, and Texas Parks
and Wildlife Commission issued separate orders to prohibit the entry of
all elk, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, and mule deer into Texas.
On August 25, 2002, Texas Animal Health Commission adopted entry
requirements for black-tailed deer, elk, or other cervid species
determined to be susceptible to CWD. All mule deer and white-tailed deer
held under authority of Scientific Breeder Permits are also required to
obtain a purchase permit and, in some cases, a transport permit from
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in order to enter the state. All
requests for entry must be made in writing and accompanied with the
information necessary to support import qualification of the animal(s).
Requests for entry and supporting documentation should be received by
the TAHC at least 10 working days prior to the proposed entry date. The
processing of the application can be expedited by assuring that all of
the necessary documentation has been provided and that the necessary
staff is available for review. The application must be accompanied by an
owner's statement stating that to his/her knowledge the animals (or
donor animals) to be imported have never come in contact with equipment
or resided on a premise where CWD was ever diagnosed.
Entry Requirements: The applicant must identify the herd of origin and
the herd of destination on both the permit application and the
certificate of veterinary inspection. The susceptible cervid(s) to be
imported into this state, shall be identified to their herd of origin by
a minimum of two official/approved unique identifiers to include, but
not limited to, legible tattoo, USDA approved ear tag, breed
registration or other state approved permanent identification methods.
If a microchip is used for identification, the owner shall provide the
necessary reader. A certificate of veterinary inspection completed by an
accredited veterinarian shall accompany the shipment. Additionally, the
herd of origin must meet the following criteria:
1. In states where there is a state approved CWD monitoring program
which meets the requirements provided in Section D of Appendix C
(below) and where CWD has not been identified in a susceptible
species, then all elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and
black-tailed deer to be imported must originate from a herd that
has been in a state-approved complete herd certification program
for a minimum of three years (or current federal standards).
2. From states which do not have a CWD monitoring program which
meets the standards provided in Section D of Appendix C (below)
and where CWD has not been identified in a susceptible species,
then all elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and black-tailed deer
shall originate from herds that have complete herd records,
including, but not limited to, complete and detailed herd
inventories, records of deaths, laboratory results, and sales and
purchase receipts, for a minimum of five years. Complete documents
which support this type of status shall be submitted with the
3. In states where CWD has been identified in a susceptible species,
then elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and black-tailed deer (or
other susceptible species) to be imported must originate from a
herd that has been in a state-approved complete herd monitoring
program, as provided in Section D of Appendix C (below) for a
minimum of five years.
4. A state-approved chronic wasting disease monitoring program must
be certified by the Texas State Veterinarian as meeting the
following minimum standards:
1. In states where CWD has been found in free-ranging wildlife,
the state program shall have perimeter fencing requirements
adequate to prevent ingress, egress or contact with
2. Surveillance based on testing of susceptible cervid deaths
over 16 months of age is required of all herds within a
complete herd monitoring program. Surveillance sampling at
commercial slaughter and at shooter operations should be at
least 10 percent of the number slaughtered annually.
3. A good quality sampling program where state and federal
officials have the authority to adjust herd status if poor
quality samples, particularly samples that are from the
wrong portion of the brain, are routinely submitted from a
premise. Laboratory analysis of the brain stem by United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved lab is
recognized as the current standard for CWD diagnosis. Other
laboratory analyses may be accepted as validated or accepted
by USDA/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
4. Physical herd inventory with annual verification reconciling
animals and identification with records by an accredited
veterinarian or state or federal personnel is required.
Inventory is to include a cross check of all animal
identifications with the herd inventory and specific
information on the disposition of all animals not present.
5. Premise locations must be specifically identified by GIS or
detailed description during the initial herd inventory.
6. Herd additions are allowed from herds with equal or greater
time in an approved state CWD monitoring program with no
negative impact on the certification status of the receiving
herd. If herd additions are acquired from a herd with a
later date of enrollment, the receiving herd reverts to the
enrollment date of the sending herd. If a herd participating
in the monitoring program acquires animals from a
non-participating herd, the receiving herd must start over
with new enrollment date based upon the date of acquisition
of the animal(s). If a new herd begins with animals of a
given status, that status will be retained by the new herd,
based upon the lowest status of the animals received.
Animals of different status which are commingled during
marketing or transport will revert to the lowest status.
7. Elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer and black-tailed deer will
only be allowed to enter the state of Texas if the state of
origin lists CWD as a reportable disease and imposes an
immediate quarantine on a herd and/or premise when a CWD
positive animal is disclosed.
8. Animal health officials in the state of origin must have
access to herd records for the appropriate number of years
(three to five), including records of deaths and causes of
9. Section D also addresses entry requirements as they pertain
to tuberculosis testing. However, these requirements are not
included as a part of the Texas Chronic Wasting Disease
At the November 2002 meeting the TPWD Commission adopted regulations, to
suspend the ban on importation of mule deer and white-tailed deer and
provide for importation under TAHC requirements. Additionally, the TPW
Commission adopted changes to Trap, Transportation, and Transplant
rules, which will require a sample of deer to be tested for CWD on any
property serving as a trap site for relocated deer. The rule sets forth
the minimum sample size, requires the sample to be tested 100% negative
by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory and stipulates
that all deer transported be uniquely marked with an ear tattoo prior to
APPENDIX D: Response Plan for CWD If Detected
1. If the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory reports a
CWD positive test, the suspect sample will be immediately shipped
to USDA Laboratory at Ames, Iowa for conformation of positive
finding. The time between initial suspect finding and Ames Lab
confirmation will be used to mobilize staff and groups for
response plan initiation.
2. The confirmation notice of a positive would come through the USDA
Veterinary Services Office in Austin, and USDA/VS personnel would
be part of the response effort.
3. Governor's Office will be notified of the finding, as well as
Commission members of both TAHC and TPWD.
4. CWD Media Response Plan will be activated (Appendix F
5. Source location of CWD positive concerns:
1. The source location of the CWD positive animal and
information about the area, landowners (to contact for
cooperative discussions on further sampling, review of
management plans), and the deer density within a 4-8 mile
radius will be determined.
2. Should the source location of the CWD positive be in a
Scientific Breeder facility or pen, TAHC will inform and
work cooperatively with the landowner. TAHC may elect to
monitor the herd with special conditions (i.e.
double-fencing) or negotiate indemnification (cap
established at $3000.00 for prime breeding animals) for
eradication of the herd.
6. GIS locations and mapping for sampling will be utilized.
7. TAHC and TPWD will inform and work cooperatively with landowners
and with landowner permission in the sample area that may be
8. TAHC would determine sampling requirements. Sample numbers and the
size of the area to be sampled will be determined based upon
population numbers and the statistically-based numbers required
for detecting CWD at a 2% prevalence level from "Regulatory
Statistics Volume 1, Sixth Edition" (See Appendix D1). The numbers
of animals to be sampled (projected at 150) would be collected
throughout an area from 64-1056 square miles and not from a single
property unless it is as large as the sample area around a
positive. A square mile is 640 acres, in areas where the herd
density is 1 deer per 5 acres an area of 64 square miles should
contain 8192 deer (128 deer per section) and less than 3 deer per
section will be sampled. In areas where the herd density is 1 deer
per 200 acres an area of 1056 square miles should contain 3379
deer (3.2 deer section) a deer per 7 sections would be sampled.
This sampling is not designed to reduce the population below
9. Sampling will be conducted at no cost to the landowner in a
cooperative manner to detect additional CWD positives, and
sampling around any additional positive finds, to determine
direction of spread, prevalence of the disease and to determine
distribution. Additional samples would be taken surrounding any
new positive to determine direction, but re-sampling again in an
area previously sampled would not be necessary.
10. Simultaneously with the sampling, a joint investigation into
movement of deer into or out of area will be conducted.
11. Identify geologic features or barriers, which may be used to limit
population distribution, will be determined.
12. After distribution is determined, reasonable, responsible, and
rational management strategies will be determined in association
with landowners and applied as situations dictate following
sampling activities, to include monitoring at appropriate
intervals, herd reduction as a possible strategy, and eradication
of local populations in limited appropriate circumstances.
Strategies for possible treatments will also be discussed and
reviewed with the TTT/MLDP Task Force/ White-tailed Deer Advisory
Committee and the Private Lands Advisory Board.
13. TPWD will collect and take samples from cervids and transport
sample to Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for
14. Options for CWD testing (i.e. ELISA test) within localities should
a CWD-positive be detected will be considered and evaluated. The
purpose would be to ensure reliable test results in a timely
manner within the local area providing little interruption to
hunting and recreation in the area.
15. TPWD must be prepared to make budget and personnel adjustments for
United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
By Victor C. Beal, Jr.
Table 2 - NUMBER NEEDED TO TEST TO BE 95% CONFIDENT THAT THE DISEASE
WILL BE DETECTED IF PRESENT AT OR ABOVE FIVE LEVELS OF INCIDENCE OR
SEE FUZZY MATH BELOW ;
APPENDIX E: TAHC Rules for Monitoring CWD
Participating herds must have adequate perimeter fencing to prevent
ingress and egress of cervids. Collection and submission of appropriate
samples from all cases of mortality in animals over 16 months of age
will accomplish surveillance in participating herds. Exemptions are
provided for animals consigned to commercial slaughter operations with
state or federal meat inspection. An annual inventory in participating
herds shall be verified by a TAHC, USDA or accredited veterinarian. All
animals over one year of age shall be identified with an official ear
tag or other approved identification device. All animals less than one
year of age shall be officially identified on a change of ownership.
Herd status designation shall be assigned on the basis of the number of
years of participation provided that CWD is not confirmed in the herd:
1. Level A - One full year of participation.
2. Level B - Two to three years of participation.
3. Level C - Four to five years of participation.
4. Level D - Six years or more of participation.
Additions to Complete Monitored Herd:
1. Additions may originate from herds of equal or higher status with
no change in the status of the receiving herd.
2. Additions may originate from herds of lower status with the
receiving herd acquiring the lower status of the herd(s) involved.
APPENDIX F: Media Response Plan
A deer tissue sample tests positive for CWD in Texas, then the TPWD and
TAHC officials have only a few hours to manage communication before news
reaches the public section.
Prior to Trigger Event, these items are complete and ready to go:
* Step-by-Step Media Response Plan
* Shell of news release announcing CWD find-Draft pending response
plan protocols being developed between TPWD and TAHC.
* Identify news media spokespersons with TPWD and TAHC in Austin
o TAHC: (512) 719-0700. Media Contact: Carla Everett.
Spokespersons: Dr. Ken Waldrup, Dr. Max Coates, Dr. Linda
Logan, Dr. Dan Baca, and Dr. Terry Conger.
o TPWD: (512) 389-8900. Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot.
Spokespersons: Robert L. Cook, Ron George, Clayton Wolf, and
* Web site for news media and general public on CWD. Listings on
* FAQ/Q&A sheet with basic facts on CWD
* Names/contact info for local/regional experts who can speak about
CWD in various regions of Texas.
* Streaming video of CWD educational video on Web for general public.
* Downloadable radio PSAs.
* High-resolution photos and video of animals with CWD.
* Gain a clear understanding of Texas operational plan for handling
CWD outbreak, including likely sequence of events from initial
find to confirmation, and approve policies concerning quarantines,
stoppage of intrastate animal movement, and designation of
infection zone for monitoring, sampling protocols and possible
* Effective communication planning hinges on our through
understanding of state's plan for dealing with a CWD outbreak.
* Obtain concurrence with media response plan from TAHC and TPWD.
* Make final these above-listed information instruments.
Notification that a suspected case of CWD exists in Texas.
Notify media contacts at TAHC and TPWD.
* TAHC - Carla Everett, (512) 719-0700 or (800) 550-8242.
* TPWD - Steve Lightfoot, (512) 389-4701 or (512) 565-3680.
* TAHC and TPWD confirm contacts and alternates, e-mail addresses,
cell phone numbers and office and home phone numbers provided to
Carla Everett and/or Steve Lightfoot for compilation, coordination
and distribution to agency leadership and involved personnel from
* News release distributed to media, agency(s) personnel and
commissioners, affected stakeholder groups and constituents.
* News conference called, depending on level of media response.
TEXAS OLD STATISTICS BELOW FOR PAST CWD TESTING;
Subject: CWD testing in Texas
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 19:45:14 -0500
From: Kenneth Waldrup
Dear Dr. Singletary,
In Fiscal Year 2001, seven deer from Texas were tested by the National
Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) for CWD (5 fallow deer and 2
white-tailed deer). In Fiscal Year 2002, seven elk from Texas were
tested at NVSL (no deer). During these two years, an additional six elk
and one white-tailed deer were tested at the Texas Veterinary Medical
Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL). In Fiscal Year 2002, four white-tailed
deer (free-ranging clinical suspects) and at least eight other
white-tailed deer have been tested at TVMDL. One elk has been tested at
NVSL. All of these animals have been found negative for CWD. Dr. Jerry
Cooke of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also has records of 601
clinically ill white-tailed deer which were necropsied at Texas A&M
during the late 1960's and early 1970's, and no spongiform
encepalopathies were noted.
Thank you for your consideration.
Ken Waldrup, DVM, PhD
Texas Animal Health Commission
TEXAS CWD STATUS
There have been no reported CWD infections of captive elk or deer in
Texas. There is currently no mandatory surveillance program for
susceptible cervids kept on game farms, although, there has been
voluntary surveillance since 1999, which requires owners of
participating herds to maintain an annual herd inventory and submit
samples for all mortalities of animals over 16 months of age.
Free-Ranging (Wild) Cervids
There have been no reported CWD infections of free-ranging susceptible
cervids in Texas. Currently targeted surveillance of free-ranging
cervids having clinical symptoms is ongoing in Texas with no positives
identified. Additionally, sampling of hunter-killed animals was
initiated statewide during the 2002-2003 deer hunting season and
sampling will be continued for the next three to five years.
Some have speculated that CWD is "spontaneous" and may exist naturally
at low levels, even in Texas. The Texas Wildlife Disease Project, a
cooperative research project between TPWD and Texas A&M University
(circa 1965-1975), was created to address two disease issues; a) low
reproduction in Texas pronghorn and b) "circling disease" in
white-tailed deer. One of the leading veterinary pathologists on this
project was already suspicious that the etiology of "circling disease"
was scrapie being transmitted from sheep to deer. During the project's
existence, a total of 780 clinically affected animals (601 white-tailed
deer, 7 mule deer, 2 elk, and 170 exotic deer and antelope) were
collected. Tissues, including brain and lymph nodes, from the collected
animals were examined for spongiform histological lesions, and all were
found to be negative. Had CWD (a form of TSE, like scrapie) existed in
Texas during this time frame, it is probable that these investigations
would have detected these classic histological lesions, especially in
clinically affected animals. It must be noted, however, that the current
laboratory tests used to diagnose CWD were not available during the time
the Wildlife Disease Project so it can not be stated with absolute
certainty that CWD was not present.
PLAN FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE DISEASE IN TEXAS
Diseases such as CWD tend to be managed more effectively when efforts
are applied before or as the disease emerges, rather than after it
becomes established. CWD is an emerging disease. The current number of
known infections within private elk and deer breeding facilities varies
markedly among states (and Canada) and is increasing steadily with
continued and expanding surveillance and investigations. The geographic
spread of CWD in free-ranging mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk is a
concern. The recent discovery of CWD in free-ranging white-tailed deer
in Wisconsin and Illinois, approximately 700 miles east of any
previously known infection, and the discovery of several CWD positive
mule deer in New Mexico, approximately 35 miles north of the Texas
border were well out of the known boundaries of the disease.
The disease prevalence appears to be increasing in localized areas,
although it is not clear whether this is due to increased incidence, or
increased surveillance, reporting, and testing. Information from states
with direct experience in managing CWD is being used for developing
Texas plans as we learn from their experiences.
TPWD and TAHC are developing stepped up targeted and
geographically-focused surveillance plans to monitor free-ranging deer
for the presence of the disease and a rapid response plan to guide both
TPWD and TAHC should CWD be detected in the State. TPWD and TAHC are
also evaluating cervid management laws, rules, and policies for free
ranging and scientific breeder permitted cervids under their authority
to identify issues and potential weaknesses related to disease
management. In these efforts, TPWD and TAHC will work with other
agencies and organizations responsible for or are concerned about cervid
disease management in an attempt to ensure comprehensive approaches to
effective management of CWD risks (see Appendix C: Importation of
TAHC and TPWD have split jurisdictions and regulatory responsibilities,
which creates challenges for both agencies (i.e., TAHC responsible for
elk, TPWD responsible for white-tailed deer and mule deer). Both
agencies will cooperate to resolve issues as they arise.
COMPONENTS OF THE PLAN
1. Education and information sharing with public, constituents, and
other government agency personnel concerning CWD.
2. Ongoing targeted surveillance of clinical deer statewide (i.e.,
collecting and CWD- testing deer/elk exhibiting symptoms that may
be consistent with CWD).
3. Development and implementation of a geographically-focused
Monitoring Plan involving the sampling and CWD-testing of
4. TAHC Rules for Importation of Susceptible Cervids (Appendix C
5. Response Plan for CWD should it occur in Texas(Appendix D
6. TAHC rules for monitoring for CWD in breeding facilities (Appendix
7. Media Response plan development in the possible event of a
positive CWD occurrence (Appendix F
8. Advance education of relevant professionals such as resource
agency personnel, private wildlife consultants, veterinarians,
landowners, wildlife co-ops, taxidermists, and others
EDUCATION AND INFORMATION SHARING
TPWD/TAHC will help educate and share current information with the
general public, constituent groups, and other government agency
personnel. These efforts will include website updates, distribution of
brochures, periodic news releases, public meetings, informational
workshops, agency communications and reports. This information will
include: 1) basic history and understanding of CWD; 2) its nationwide
distribution, and status of knowledge of the disease (e.g.,
epidemiology, transmission, clinical signs, population effects); 3)
other CWD related issues and concerns (e.g., carcass handling and meat
consumption, transmission potential to humans and livestock, deer
feeding); and 4) management and research actions being taken by TPWD and
TAHC. Information may also be designed to focus on specific issues of
importance to landowners, hunters, meat processors, taxidermists, deer
feeders, veterinarians, rehabilitators, feed companies, feeder
manufacturers and operators of captive deer and elk facilities.
Publication of technical findings of research in peer-reviewed journals
and agency reports will be strongly encouraged. The more informed all
agencies and the public (including hunters) become, the more effectively
CWD risks will be managed in the future.
Informing and educating the public, constituents, TPWD and other agency
personnel about CWD is essential. Development of informational brochures
and leaflets for public and intra-/interagency distribution containing
information about CWD being directed toward general public (including
hunter) interests and concerns are a necessity. This information will be
distributed as follows:
* Available at all TPWD offices statewide.
* Carried by Wildlife Biologists, Game Wardens and Park Peace Officers.
* Distributed to potential contact agencies and individuals.
* Potential contact agencies/individuals (in alphabetical order)
o Cooperative Extension Service
o Exotic Wildlife Association
o Federal Natural resource and land management agencies, NPS,
USFWS and USFS
o Governors Office, EOC
o Military installations
o Sportsmen Conservationists of Texas
o Texas Ag. Council
o Texas Agricultural Extension Service
o Texas Animal Health Commission
o Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society
o Texas Deer Association
o Texas Department of Agriculture
o Texas Game Warden Association
o Texas Grain and Feed Association
o Texas Farm Bureau
o Texas Taxidermists Association
o Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
o Texas Veterinary Medical Association
o Texas Wildlife Association
o TSCRA (Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association)
o Wildlife rehabilitators
Should CWD occur it could have a significant adverse economical impact
upon landowners, local communities and landowners possessing deer held
under authority of Scientific Breeder Permits and elk. Special emphasis
would be directed toward informing all constituents that potentially
could be affected by the discovery of CWD in the State. These efforts
could be accomplished through the completion of a general news packet,
video releases, TPWD/TAHC web sites, as well as television and radio
news releases, as well as partner publications and information systems.
Informing and educating TPWD wildlife biologists and law enforcement
personnel is also critical, as these individuals will generally be the
first lines of information for the public and press. Internal
distribution of relevant information in a timely manner will aid TPWD
personnel in addressing any CWD concerns from the public or constituent
groups. As information is gathered regarding testing or other pertinent
data, TPWD should present this information as requested at interagency
meetings and professional meetings/symposia. These data should
additionally be published peer-reviewed journals or TPWD Technical
Reports. In addition, advance education of relevant professionals such
as other resource agency personnel, private wildlife consultants,
veterinarians, landowners, wildlife co-ops, taxidermists, feed store
personnel, and other similar professions who may be contacted by the
public and press for comments should be invited to education workshops.
ONGOING TARGETED SURVEILLANCE OF CLINICAL DEER STATEWIDE
Collecting CWD clinical-free-ranging cervids began in late summer 2002.
The collection of clinical deer has been reported by researchers in
other states to be particularly useful in detecting the presence/absence
of CWD in local areas statewide. TPWD will continue testing clinical
free-ranging deer for CWD as they are encountered. Federal funding
through APHIS/USDA may be available and would provide for increased
sampling during FY-04 sampling period and beyond.
Chronic Wasting Disease Testing
Submitting a Specimen for Testing
Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) will provide
Immunohistochemistry (IHC) based testing for Chronic Wasting Disease
(CWD), and screening for tuberculosis (TB) in cervids. These tests are
available at the College Station and Amarillo Laboratories. Specimens
required for testing are the obex of the brain, both retropharyngeal
lymph nodes, and both tonsils. If both CWD and TB testing are requested,
it is recommended that the entire head be shipped to the lab so each of
those specimens can be identified and processed. Antlers should be
removed from the head and the head, including a liberal amount of the
soft tissue posterior to the pharynx, should be packed in multiple
plastic bags to prevent leakage. A completed Texas Veterinary Medical
Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Accession Form
or a letter with the name, address and telephone number of the submitter
should be enclosed in a separate plastic bag. Specimens must be chilled
within 2 hours after kill and should remain chilled during transit. For
optimum results, specimens should arrive at the lab within 24 hours
after kill. Charges are as follows:
Charges for Chronic Wasting Disease Testing
Note: There will be a $100.00 additional charge for carcass disposal if
an entire carcass is submitted.
Brain removal $10.00
IHC test for CWD $30.00
TB Screen $15.00
Head Disposal $15.00
Payment by check or money order must be included with specimens for
testing to be completed. Credit Cards are not accepted. Specimens
submitted for both CWD and TB screening will require a pre-payment of
$65.00 or $50.00 if CWD testing alone is requested. Submission of
previously removed obexs must include a $30.00 payment for each test to
be completed. Please call 979-845-3414 if you have questions on specimen
submittal or charges.
Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Accession Form
The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) Accession
270.3 KB) should be printed and filled out prior to submitting a sample.
See instructions above.
SEE MAP OF CWD ON THE BORDER OF NEW MEXICO
VERY CLOSE TO TEXAS ;
NO update on CWD testing in Texas, New Mexico that i could find.
I have inquired about it though, no reply yet...
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: CWD testing to date TEXAS ?
Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 12:26:20 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Hello Mrs. Everett,
I am most curious about the current status on CWD testing
in Texas. could you please tell me what the current and past
testing figures are to date and what geographical locations these
tests have been in. good bust on the illegal deer trapping case.
keep up the good work there.........
with kindest regards,
Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518
CJD Watch message board
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: CWD testing in New Mexico
Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 14:39:18 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
I am most curious of the current and past CWD testing in
New Mexico, and there geographical locations...
Terry S. Singeltary SR.
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