DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today announced that the test results from the depopulation of a quarantined captive deer herd in north-central Iowa showed that 284 of the 356 deer, or 79.8% of the herd, tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The owners of the quarantined herd have entered into a fence maintenance agreement with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, which requires the owners to maintain the 8’ foot perimeter fence around the herd premises for five years after the depopulation was complete and the premises had been cleaned and disinfected
CWD is a progressive, fatal, degenerative neurological disease of farmed and free-ranging deer, elk, and moose. There is no known treatment or vaccine for CWD. CWD is not a disease that affects humans.
On July 18, 2012, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, IA confirmed that a male white tail deer harvested from a hunting preserve in southeast IA was positive for CWD. An investigation revealed that this animal had just been introduced into the hunting preserve from the above-referenced captive deer herd in north-central Iowa.
The captive deer herd was immediately quarantined to prevent the spread of CWD. The herd has remained in quarantine until its depopulation on August 25 to 27, 2014.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship participated in a joint operation to depopulate the infected herd with USDA Veterinary Services, which was the lead agency, and USDA Wildlife Services.
Federal indemnity funding became available in 2014. USDA APHIS appraised the captive deer herd of 376 animals at that time, which was before depopulation and testing, at $1,354,250. At that time a herd plan was developed with the owners and officials from USDA and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
Once the depopulation was complete and the premises had been cleaned and disinfected, indemnity of $917,100.00 from the USDA has been or will be paid to the owners as compensation for the 356 captive deer depopulated.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship operates a voluntary CWD program for farms that sell live animals. Currently 145 Iowa farms participate in the voluntary program. The above-referenced captive deer facility left the voluntary CWD program prior to the discovery of the disease as they had stopped selling live animals. All deer harvested in a hunting preserve must be tested for CWD.