The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is seeking comments on proposed changes to chronic wasting disease (CWD) management and response regulations. TPWD is putting forth the proposed changes to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (Commission) for a vote on Thursday, November 2. Specifically, TPWD is asking the Commission to consider several permanent CWD rules, all of which are supported by the National Deer Association (NDA). These amendments would, in part:
- Require ante-mortem (live-animal) testing of test-eligible deer prior to transfer from a breeding facility to another breeding facility;
- Reproduce the statutory provisions governing the required permanent identification tags on breeder deer;
- Provide for the transport of deer carcasses from CWD management zones to a final destination or taxidermist, provided a TPWD-issued check station receipt has been obtained;
- Impose statewide carcass disposal measures;
- Strengthen provisions governing the obligations of release-site owners in the event a release site becomes epidemiologically linked to a CWD-positive deer breeding facility; and
- Provide for the suspension of Managed Lands Deer Program (MLDP) privileges for landowners who fail to comply with harvest, testing, and recordkeeping requirements at release sites epidemiologically linked to a CWD-positive deer breeding facility.
Comments are being accepted online HERE. Simply add your name and residence information, scroll to the bottom of the page and select ‘Agree completely,’ and click ‘Submit.’ Online comments will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. on November 1, 2023. Interested individuals can also attend the Commission meeting in-person on November 2 to provide verbal comments. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744
The NDA has been advocating for new rules in Texas regarding CWD management, detection and response, particularly surrounding captive and breeder deer facilities. TPWD recently issued emergency rules regarding breeder deer movement, which the NDA supported. We also asked our members and supporters to support TPWD CWD rule changes regarding detection and response in August 2023. The newly proposed amendments include yet additional changes and modifications that the NDA and partners have advocated for.
The NDA strongly encourages our members and supporters, and especially those who live and/or hunt in Texas, to submit comments online and attend the upcoming Commission meeting. Conserving deer and protecting hunting requires participation in the rooms where wildlife policy and legislation are formed, and this comment opportunity provides the occasion for just that. Learn more about CWD at deerassociation.com/cwd.