Regulatory Brief

 Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Herd Certification Program and Interstate Movement of Farmed or Captive Deer, Elk, and Moose; Interim Final Rule (July 10, 2012)

Formal Title:

Docket Number (00-108-8); Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program and Interstate Movement of Farmed or Captive Deer, Elk, and Moose; Interim Final Rule

Brief Description:

The interim final rule amends a suspended final rule, which was published July 21, 2006, in the Federal Register (71 FR 41682–41707, Docket No. 00–108–3) and which established the  CWD Herd Certification Program.  The voluntary program included CWD monitoring and testing requirements, and set interstate movement restrictions. APHIS suspended indefinitely the July 2006 final rule to reconsider several of its requirements in response to petitions from the public and comments on those petitions. In this document, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) examines expected benefits and costs of the July 2006 final rule, as amended by this final rule. With publication of this final rule and concurrent removal of the suspension of the July 2006 final rule, farmed or captive deer, elk, and moose herd owners who choose to participate in the Herd Certification Program will have to meet program requirements for animal identification, testing, and herd management. With certain exceptions, only deer, elk, and moose from certified herds will be eligible for interstate movement.

AVMA Response:

The AVMA believes that transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are important diseases of animals and humans worldwide. CWD is significant to the AVMA, which supports and encourages enhanced national and state surveillance, monitoring, and control programs for TSEs. The AVMA applauds the Agency’s recognition of State CWD programs and the Agency’s collaborative spirit in amending the July 2006 final rule (71 FR 41682-41707, Docket No. 00-108-3) to establish national minimum requirements for the interstate movement of cervids while not preempting State or local laws or regulations that are more restrictive than those of APHIS.

Granted, some states have more stringent regulations pertaining to CWD and captive cervids; but, a national program, which recognizes such State programs and which establishes the minimum requirements across the nation, helps to ensure that all who participate are at least meeting or exceeding key herd health protection and surveillance efforts.

Science based consideration should be given to all potential impacts of human movement of cervids – captive or wild.  Furthermore, State and local authorities know the resources and risks within their jurisdictions and are more suited to protect their resources beyond the protection afforded by a national program if required.  Therefore, it is imperative that the Agency recognize States’ needs and rights for the options to have additional regulatory requirements on cervid transports entering or passing through their respective jurisdictions. 

Background Documents:


Relevant AVMA Policy