Animal Health, Chronic Wasting Disease

Rules & Resources for Harvesting Exotic Chronic Wasting Disease Susceptible Species

AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) reminds Texas landowners of statewide exotic chronic wasting disease (CWD) susceptible species requirements for the 2020-21 hunting season.

Exotic susceptible species include North American elk or wapiti, black tailed deer, red deer, reindeer, sika deer, moose and/or any associated subspecies and hybrids. Axis deer are not classified as a susceptible species.

“When CWD was first discovered in far West Texas in 2012, the TAHC and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) took important steps toward preventing the spread of the chronic disease by establishing CWD zones in areas with confirmed cases,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC Executive Director. “In 2017, TAHC enhanced the surveillance and movement requirements for all exotic susceptible species located within CWD zones and throughout the state.”

Requirements for Exotic CWD susceptible species:

Properties where Exotic CWD Susceptible Species are Hunter Harvested

Owners of high, low, or no fenced properties where exotic CWD susceptible species at least 16 months of age are harvested must submit a mortality record to the TAHC. Mortality record forms are due to the TAHC on or before April 1 of each year.

  • Every calendar year, landowners must have eligible mortalities CWD tested until such time that three animals are tested. An eligible mortality is a death from any cause of an exotic CWD susceptible species that is 16 months of age or older. This includes hunter harvested mortalities or herd culling, natural mortalities, or animals moved directly to slaughter. Once valid CWD test results are obtained, they are to be submitted to the TAHC and accompanied by a test submission form.

 

Owners Moving or Transporting Live Exotic Chronic Wasting Disease Susceptible Species

  • Any person engaged in the business of buying or selling exotic CWD susceptible species in commerce must maintain records for all exotics transported within the state or where there is a transfer of ownership. The TAHC movement record form  can be utilized for data.
  • All live exotic CWD susceptible species moved or transported within the state must have official identification (ID). Contact the TAHC Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) department at 512-719-0733 for more information on official ID.
  • An owner of a property where exotic Chronic Wasting Disease susceptible species are located within a high fence must keep an estimated annual inventory for all exotic CWD susceptible species. Annual inventories are due to TAHC on or before April 1 of each year.
In addition to the agency’s statewide movement and surveillance requirements for exotic susceptible species, hunters should be aware of the Chronic Wasting Disease zones in Texas. Hunters harvesting mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, red deer, or exotic CWD susceptible species within the zones are REQUIRED to bring their animals to a TPWD check station within 48 hours of harvest. The CWD Containment and Surveillance Zones  include the Kimble County zone, Trans-Pecos zone, South-Central zone, Panhandle zone and Val Verde County zone.
For more information on CWD, CWD zones, and requirements: