Meanwhile, the number of scent manufacturers and urine providers is already growing, King said. Although the industry’s largest manufacturers and urine suppliers were on board from the start, smaller operations are enrolling as they learn of the program and hear how it operates. “We expect participation will keep growing,” King said. “Our hope is that the entire scent-manufacturing industry (including urine providers) will recognize the program’s importance in maintaining healthy wild herds of elk and deer for future hunters.”
The ATA program requires participating urine-producing facilities to follow these seven requirements by …
- Requiring participation in the USDA’s APHIS Herd Certification Program for all ATA-program participants, regardless of whether they transport live deer or elk across state lines. (Full participation in the federal program is “required” only for deer farms transporting live deer or elk across state lines.)
- Prohibiting the import of live deer or elk into participating facilities (beginning Dec. 31, 2016). (The federal program allows importing live deer or elk.)
- Requiring that all cervids transferred out of a participating facility be tested for CWD upon death. This restriction eliminates a facility’s ability to avoid testing by moving an animal to a nonparticipating facility. (The federal program allows facilities to transfer out live cervids.)
- Requiring participating facilities in the ATA program to undergo a 100 percent physical inspection every third year and at least a 20 percent physical inspection every year by an accredited veterinarian. (The federal program requires a 100 percent physical inspection every third year [related to TB and brucellosis certification] but does not require annual physical inspections.)
- Requiring that participating facilities undergo an annual inspection by an accredited veterinarian that includes a physical animal inspection (20 percent), a herd inventory review, and overall herd health and facility inspections (including fencing). (The federal program does not require this level of inspection.)
- Requiring that participating facilities be double-fenced along their perimeter if they’re within 30 miles of a confirmed CWD case in wild or captive deer or elk. (The federal program does not require double-fencing.)
- Establishing an oversight advisory group that will include industry and state wildlife agency representatives to help review the ATA program. (The federal program does not involve oversight by state wildlife agencies.)
Although some state regulatory programs impose greater restrictions on captive-cervid facilities than the federal program to address deficiencies noted above, state-by-state variability often reduces the confidence state wildlife agencies and wildlife-disease experts have in government regulatory programs. The ATA program eliminates this variability across state lines for the scent-manufacturing industry.
The ATA Deer Protection Program will be monitored by the ATA and an oversight advisory group that includes state wildlife agencies and, where available, state veterinary services.
“Everyone involved in this program knows how devastating CWD can be, and we want to ensure we do everything possible to prevent its spread,” King said. “This is the first program of its kind where an industry, with help from wildlife agencies and CWD experts, has united to say, ‘Let’s do something about this problem.’ Rather than complain, these companies and agencies are taking the first step in a long-term joint effort to control CWD.”
To learn more about the ATA Deer Protection Program, visit www.archerytrade.org/deerprotection, or contact Dan Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 601-5038.