CWD UPDATE 78 September 13, 2006

The escape of over 100 elk from a captive facility in Idaho is causing some concern in Idaho and neighboring Wyoming. The facility had had run ins with authorities in the past and the escape was not reported until a neighbor of the facility reported seeing the animal in her pasture. Details of the escape and efforts to remove the elk are in three attached articles from the Casper, Wyoming Star Tribune newspaper.

The USDA-APHIS-VS has indefinitely postponed the implementation of the new rule on CWD testing and interstate transport of captive cervids. In the September 8 Federal Register, the agency announced the postponement stating that they had received petitions form the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the U. S. Animal Health Association, and the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials protesting certain aspects of the rule. APHIS will publish the petitions in an upcoming Federal Register for comments. The two primary issues raised in all three petitions are; 1) The preemption of Federal interstate movement regulations over State requirements for importation (i.e., issues of federalism); and 2) The scientific basis for the “ramping up” process in the Federal interstate movement requirements.

Nebraska Game and Parks reports an additional CWD positive female white-tailed deer from near the town of Whitney, Nebraska in the panhandle, in the vicinity of numerous other positive findings in the past. This animal was a road kill picked up by agency biologists for testing. This brings the total number of positives for Nebraska to 90 animals since the first one was detected in 2000.