Texas rule targets movement of breeder deer

The action follows CWD detections at breeding facilities

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has adopted an emergency rule implementing additional movement and testing restrictions for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in deer-breeding facilities. The rule comes in response to continued positive detections of chronic wasting disease in these facilities. Fourteen counties have had positive detections since March 2021, including nine deer-breeding facilities in 2023.

“Since 2021, we have seen an increase in CWD detections from breeder deer at an unprecedented rate,” said TPWD Wildlife Division Director John Silovsky, in a press release. “It’s our hope that these emergency rules will strengthen our surveillance and reduce the number of CWD-positive detections across the state.”

This emergency order requires all breeder deer to be live-tested for CWD before moving to another facility or release site. It also restricts the removal of identification tags. The 120-day temporary order went into effect July 24 and may be extended an additional 60 days. CWD is a fatal prion disease that can spread between captive and wild populations of deer and other cervids.

Read more from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Header Image: grazing at Stephen F. Austin State Park in San Felipe, Texas. Chronic wasting disease can spread easily between captive and wild deer. Credit: Larry D. Moore