AUSTIN –The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) announced that effective immediately it is has determined that Red deer (Cervus elaphus), and Sika deer (Cervus nippon) are “susceptible species” for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and therefore must meet the same entry requirements as other cervid species regulated by the agency such as elk and moose. The new entry rules for Red deer and Sika deer will require they originate from herds with at least five years of participation in a herd certification program from states where CWD has been detected, and at least three years participation in programs from states that have not found CWD thus far.

The agency decision was based in part on the disclosure that a farmed Red deer herd in Minnesota was confirmed positive for CWD in May of this year. Further, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an interim final CWD rule on June 8, which designates Sika deer and Red deer as susceptible species. The USDA rule is intended to establish minimum requirements for interstate movement of deer, elk, moose, and other susceptible cervids, and to also establish a national CWD certification program.

Under the new TAHC entry requirements, besides originating from a herd with three or five year status as described above, Red deer and Sika deer shippers must also obtain an entry permit and request entry in writing. Proper supporting documentation must also accompany the request for entry at least 10 days prior to the proposed entry date. More information on TAHC entry requirements related to cervids can be found online

Indigenous cervid species such as white-tailed deer and mule deer are regulated by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD), not the TAHC. Currently those species are entirely prohibited from entering Texas based on TPWD rules.