National Wildlife Federation Outdoors

Captive Cervids and their Contribution to CWD

February 10, 2022

Ashley and Aaron sit down with Dr. Colin Gillin to talk about the captive cervid industry and how it’s stymied efforts to control CWD. Colin is the State Wildlife Veterinarian for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and takes us on a deep dive into how cervid farms work and how they need to change in order for us to make headway in the fight.

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Show notes:

2:55 - Introduction of Dr. Colin Gillin, a state wildlife veterinarian for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He has been active in national efforts to monitor and stop the spread of CWD for decades.

3:57 - Explanation of wild animals versus captive cervids.

5:20 – How did we go from having wild animals in their natural environment to having wild animals in captivity?

7:10 - Deer farming predates the North American model of conservation.

8:50 – What are the rules to hold captive cervids?

12:31 – Does it differ from state to state who is in charge of making and enforcing rules for captive cervids?

14:51 - Discussing the different products that come out of captive cervid farms and how that can be problematic for the spread of CWD.

19:53 – Fence talk. What about the risk of animals escaping the farms and spreading CWD?

24:12 -   A closer look at the operations and facilities within captive cervid farming. It’s estimated that they bring in $8 billion nationally!

28:39 - How many farms are in the USA? There are about 10,000 deer farms in the USA!

31:40 - Federal rules for interstate movement of cervids and a discussion of animals being moved around illegally. 

36:44 – Clearing up a few acronyms for the audience.

37:25 - “The rules setup for the herd certification program is geared solely for the interstate transport.”

43:09 - What happens when a facility tests positive for CWD?

48:56 – Break for a message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen!

50:34 - What do you say to someone who thinks captive cervid farming is out of place?

55:48 - The North American model, “You cannot take wildlife and use it for market purposes.” Considering the various parts of the model.

59:11 - It would seem like the captive service industry as a whole costs a lot to our wildlife resource and doesn’t give anything to it.

1:01:29 - Brief overview of AFWA best management practices.

1:08:54 - What is one thing that could have been done differently 50 years ago? What can do done now?

1:14:34 -  Closing statement.

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