New CWD Management Response Rules Adopted
May 30, 2017
Editorial Staff (165 articles)
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New CWD Management Response Rules Adopted

CWD management rules based partly on discovery of free-range whitetail with disease

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved amendments to chronic wasting disease (CWD) management response rules. Officials based the amendments in part on discovery of the disease in a free-ranging white-tailed deer west of San Antonio.

The changes address containment and surveillance measures, and permitted movement of live deer, in portions of Bandera, Medina, and Uvalde counties as well as zone delineations in the northwest Panhandle. Last year, the Commission established a CWD surveillance zone (SZ) in portions of Bandera, Medina, and Uvalde counties as a result of confirmed CWD in permitted deer breeding facilities in the area.

Officials didn’t established a containment zone (CZ) in this area because they detected the disease only in permitted deer breeding facilities or their adjacent release sites. The Texas Animal Health Commission issued all of those sites hold orders or quarantines.

These measures included requirements that satisfied the need for a CZ. Officials exempted this particular SZ from mandatory sampling and carcass movement restrictions in lieu of a local voluntary hunter and landowner effort to submit samples.

However, officials detected CWD in a free-ranging white-tailed deer within that SZ, which designated that area as a CZ by emergency rule and requires CWD testing and restrictions on movement of live deer and hunter-harvested deer.

The new rules replace the emergency rules and establish as a CZ all land located within two miles of the property boundaries where CWD has been detected in permitted deer breeding facilities, and within five miles of the approximate location where the CWD-positive free-ranging whitetail was harvested.

CWD Surveillance Zone proposed

Officials propose a SZ for all land that does not fall within the proposed CZ, but surrounded on the north by F.M. 470, on the east by F.M. 462, on the south by U.S. Highway 90 and the west from the intersection of U.S. 90 and the Sabinal river, following the river north to the intersection of F.M. 187 and north along F.M. 187 to F.M. 470.

The Commission adopted amendments to the SZ delineations in the northwest Panhandle extending the zone east of the cities of Amarillo and Dumas to make sample submission and carcass disposal more convenient for hunters. The new rules also provide greater latitude for permitted movement of live deer as it relates to CWD containment and surveillance zones.

Under these new provisions, permitted movement of captive deer into a CZ or SZ may occur, as well as movement within the zones by permit holders having Transfer Category 1 or 2 status provided they meet certain guidelines. Harvest on release sites must be equal to or exceed the number of breeder deer introduced that year and deer may be released from TC 2 facilities to an adjacent release site once “Not Detected” tonsil biopsy test results are obtained.—courtesy TPWD

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