American Cervid Alliance

ACA Council Meets to Endorse Proposed USAHA Resolution

September 25, 2018

Committee on Farmed Cervids to Meet; Resolution to Reform CWD Testing

The American Cervid Alliance Leadership Council met on September 18, to discuss possible opportunities at the upcoming United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) Conference next month in Kansas City. The ACA wanted all the alliance council members to have an understanding of the agenda affecting the cervid industry at USAHA prior to the leaders’ arrival.  

Alliance members reviewed the USAHA event schedule, which includes regional meetings, Committee on Farmed Cervidae, Committee on Wildlife Diseases, Subcommittee on Tuberculosis, Subcommittee on Brucellosis and Committee on Animal Welfare meetings. The Committee on Farmed Cervids is a new committee solely dedicated to deer and elk issues that was first proposed by the ACA in 2013. Charly Seale, who serves as the Executive Director of the Exotic Wildlife Association, serves as the vice-chair of the committee.  “We have a very strong agenda for our committee next month,” Seale told fellow ACA council members on the conference call. 

At least one resolution  is being proposed by the cervid industry during the USAHA conference relating to strains of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk. Recent discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease across the world has proved some strains vary in pathogenicity.   The Norway strain in moose and reindeer is a different strain than the North American strain. A specific CWD test, known as the Western Blot test, can determine the different strains and if the CWD strain is sporadic or spontaneous (atypical).  The Western Blot test is not currently being used by USDA APHIS or state animal health or wildlife officials for CWD positive farmed cervids. In contrast, the European Union uses the Western Blot test as a standard on every positive case. The ACA’s resolution requests USDA APHIS use the Western Blot test for CWD testing to indeify the strains. Such knowledge will help identify possible sources of the disease. A motion was made and unanimously approved by the Alliance to offer this resolution as a united cervid industry position. 

Several cervid industry representatives are planning to attend the conference. ACA Moderator Travis Lowe thanked the council for their input on the proposed resolution and agenda.  Lowe stated, “At the 2012 USAHA conference, it was quite obvious the cervid industry leaders did not have any communication to know each other’s goals and how to work together. We looked unorganized. This all changed with the ACA. Every year since, starting in 2013, the ACA associations have met before the USAHA conference to go over proposed ideas and receive feedback. This has enabled us to speak as a united voice during the conference. We thank the 40 associations that work together to make this possible. It is to all of our benefit.”

The ACA will keep the industry abreast of USAHA news as it unfolds. 


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