The North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA) applauds the passage of the conference report for H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.  Commonly known as the Farm Bill, this legislation reauthorizes programs at USDA that help production agriculture thrive.  Of particular importance to NADeFA is inclusion of a provision prioritizing research into Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  The conference report passed the House on December 12 by a vote of 369-47 and the Senate on December 11 by a vote of 87-13.  The President is expected to sign the legislation as soon as this week.  Text of the conference report can be found here (CWD research language on page 326).

NADeFA has worked tirelessly with Members of Congress, congressional committees and staff to ensure that strong language prioritizing research into CWD was included in the farm bill.  While there has been an increased interest in combatting CWD, most of the effort has focused on surveillance and containment in wild deer populations.  NADeFA has been funding research into live testing and genetic resistance that can not only contain the disease, but also start reversing its spread.  An increased focus from the USDA can expand and accelerate that existing work to benefit all deer, both farmed and wild.

Shawn Schafer, Executive Director of NADeFA, had this to say about passage of the Farm Bill: “This bill is an important step for everyone working in production agriculture, and will help keep our rural communities strong.  While we have had many friends in Congress that have helped us through this process, we could not have gotten the CWD language included without the leadership of Representative G.T. Thompson of Pennsylvania, and Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota.  They have been, and remain, great friends to the farmed deer industry.  More research in to diagnosing, treating, and eradicating CWD will benefit both deer farmers and sportsmen, and help our rural communities thrive.  I am happy that Congress has worked to address this important need and we look forward to continuing work with USDA on this and all cervid health issues.”

Founded in 1983, the North American Deer Farmers Association is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit and serves its members through its educational programs and publications and by providing leadership in setting and maintaining quality standards. NADeFA represents the deer farming industry at all levels of government, and works closely with livestock producers and other organizations to promote ethical standards of conduct and husbandry in deer farming and to actively market standards for deer and deer products. NADeFA representatives are also available to media for expert testimony and information about deer farming and animal health issues, such as Chronic Wasting Disease, EHD and other topics.

For more information about NADeFA and membership, call 330.454.3944 or visit www.NADeFA.org.