Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) affecting elk and deer (cervids) in North America.
This degenerative neurological illness has affected both farmed and wild cervids in the US, thus impacting the hunting and wildlife industries as well as domestic and international markets for farmed cervids and cervid products. APHIS' response to this disease includes support of surveillance in both farmed and wild populations and assistance to State agencies for quarantine of affected animals and premises, humane euthanasia, and testing affected and exposed animals. In addition APHIS provides indemnity to animal owners for the value of positive and exposed animals euthanized in disease control efforts. A Herd Certification Program (HCP) is being developed by APHIS in coordination with states, the farmed cervid industry, and the US Animal Health Association (USAHA) to support this effort. APHIS also has assisted, and continues to assist, States with CWD surveillance and management in wild cervid populations. Finally, APHIS is working with the US Department of Interior, Tribes, and States to implement an interagency, national plan to help manage CWD in captive and wild cervids.