The North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA), the nation’s leading voice for the cervid industry applauds an increase in USDA’s Cervid Health program in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 which passed earlier this month.

The bill includes $4 million for cervid health under the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). That represents an increase of $500,000 over what has been appropriated over the last two years and is the second increase in the last three years. The language in the bill’s report directly addresses the need for this money to provide indemnity to deer farmers.

This push follows up on the work NADeFA members, leadership, and Capitol Hill Consulting Group have done continuously over the past five years which included meeting with key appropriators and committee staff to lay the groundwork for this increase in funding.

“We have made positive gains in both policy and funding for combating CWD and supporting our cervid health programs,” said NADeFA Executive Director Shawn Schafer. “The language in the bill comes directly from the request we provided to the Appropriations Committee, and this increase is the direct effort of NADeFA’s work.” He also added: “This funding is one prong in our efforts to support our members and protect our producers’ ability to maintain their livelihood while decreasing the volume of indemnity which will save taxpayers’ money.”

NADeFA thanks Congress for working with the association on this important issue.

NADeFA has worked closely with USDA-APHIS for more than two decades on a variety of issues related to cervid health and national guidelines. The CWD Herd Certification Program, for example, is a voluntary, cooperative program that allows participating cervid producers to achieve herd certification status of their cervid herds and to meet the requirements for the interstate movement of farmed cervids.

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