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Quality Deer Management Association Position Statement on Herd Elimination as a CWD Control Strategy


In response to increased knowledge and experience with chronic wasting disease (CWD) management strategies, the QDMA has revised its official CWD position statement first issued on June 10, 2002. The following position statement is effective April 1, 2004:

In areas where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been discovered in free-ranging white-tailed deer, the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) believes a surveillance program should be implemented to accurately define the prevalence rate and geographical extent of the disease.

Once such a program is in place, the QDMA supports herd reduction to levels that:

a) reduce the possibility of transmitting the disease to adjacent uninfected populations, and
b) reduce the potential for disease transfer within existing infected populations, and
c) provide sufficient time for researchers to monitor changes in prevalence rates by sex and age and to devise practical, effective disease containment and elimination strategies.

The QDMA favors CWD management strategies that:

a) acknowledge the active role of hunters and landowners by enabling continued hunting opportunities, and
b) encourage the involvement of hunters and landowners in the decision-making process, and
c) continue our hunting heritage.
The QDMA acknowledges that total herd eradication may appear to be the most effective method to contain and control CWD.

At this time, however, the QDMA considers total herd eradication impossible under most circumstances, unacceptable to many segments of society, and impractical as a long-term CWD management strategy.