We are amending a final rule, which will take effect when these amendments become effective, that will establish a herd certification program to control chronic wasting disease (CWD) in farmed or captive cervids in the United States. Under that rule, owners of deer, elk, and moose herds who choose to participate in the CWD Herd Certification Program would have to follow requirements for animal identification, testing, herd management, and movement of animals into and from herds. This document amends that final rule to provide that our regulations will set minimum requirements for the interstate movement of farmed or captive deer, elk, and moose but will not preempt State or local laws or regulations that are more restrictive than our regulations. This document requests public comment on that change. This document also amends the final rule to require farmed or captive deer, elk, and moose to participate in the Herd Certification Program and to be monitored for CWD for 5 years before they can move interstate, clarify our herd inventory procedures, establish an optional protocol for confirmatory DNA testing of CWD-positive samples, add a requirement to continue testing cervids that are killed or sent to slaughter from Certified herds, and make several other changes. These actions will help to control the incidence of CWD in farmed or captive cervid herds and prevent its spread.
Agency Contact: Dr. Patrice Klein, Senior Staff Veterinarian, National Center for Animal Health Programs, Veterinary Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3435.
This rule is final.