“Farmed Cervidae” are cervid species raised in captivity for the purpose of supplying the commercial hunting industry with livestock. In Oklahoma, the majority of this industry is whitetail deer with elk making up a smaller portion. These animals are intensively managed, fed, and selectively bred for antler mass, spread, and classification (typical vs. non-typical). Not all farmed cervidae are ultimately hunted, however. As global demand for venison rises, some animals are raised for slaughter, while other producers raise farmed cervidae for the sole purpose of hobby and enjoyment.
- Effective September 12, 2014, all owners of exotic species of the Cervidae Family (any cervidae species other than whitetail deer, mule deer, red deer, and elk) must register with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. Registration is free of charge and can be completed online below.
- For status herds, CWD annual inventories/inspections and applicable tuberculosis/brucellosis testing must be completed and submitted between September 15, 2014 and March 15, 2015.
- Farmed cervidae license renewal applications will be mailed in early February 2015 and are due April 1, 2015.
All cervidae imported into the state of Oklahoma must have the following: an approved permit application, valid certificate of veterinary inspection, proper identification, tuberculosis and brucellosis testing, and chronic wasting disease herd certification status. The permit application below explains these requirements in full. The veterinarian of the consignor in the exporting state completes and submits the permit application and certificate of veterinary inspection. The consignee of any import must hold a valid farmed cervidae facility license or commercial hunting area license. Cervidae imports are restricted from any county where Chronic Wasting Disease has been identified among free-ranging cervidae (map linked below).
Any farmed cervidae facility in Oklahoma maintaining whitetail deer, mule deer, red deer, or elk is required to be licensed by The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. The purpose of facility licensing is multifold: to prevent the commingling of native cervidae with captive cervidae, to protect the farmed cervidae and hunting industries in Oklahoma from chronic wasting disease, and to protect the farmed cervidae and cattle industries of Oklahoma from the controlled diseases the two have in common. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation licenses commercial hunting areas in Oklahoma where the majority of farmed cervidae are ultimately harvested.
- Farmed Cervidae License Application
- Oklahoma Farmed Cervidae Act & Rules
- Licensing Explained
- Carcass Disposal Regulations
All species in the Cervidae Family (other than whitetail deer, mule deer, red deer, and elk) are currently considered “exotics” by Oklahoma regulations and are exempt from facility licensing. However, due to the concern of controlled diseases, owners of these species must register with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture unless already licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation or USDA Animal Care. This registration will also help keep registrants informed of any emergency disease information.
Exotic Cervidae Owner Registration
The CWD HCP is a voluntary surveillance program designed to verify that a cervidae herd is low risk for CWD. Federal rule and program standards for interstate transport of cervidae and a national CWD HCP were passed in August 2012 and implemented by ODAFF. Herds that complete five years of the program with no evidence of CWD are designated as “certified” and are allowed to transport cervidae species interstate. Producers can purchase CWD certified cervidae and “inherit” the status of the original herd or can start with non-monitored animals at year one and work their way up through the program year-by-year. CWD herd certification not only allows herds to be moved interstate, it also adds value to a herd while helping producers protect the health of their animals. A CWD HCP application must be submitted to ODAFF and approved for participation in the program.
- CWD HCP Application and Inventory Form
- CWD Inventory and Inspections Explained Presentation
- Map of CWD Certified Veterinarians
- CWD HCP Federal Rule
- CWD HCP Program Standards
- USDA CWD HCP WebPage
Bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis have nearly been eradicated in the United States. The remaining reservoirs of tuberculosis are dairy cattle in the west, Mexican cattle from the south, and whitetail deer in the north and northeast. The remaining reservoirs of brucellosis are American bison and elk populations of the Greater Yellowstone Area. These diseases have the potential to negatively impact the farmed cervidae, hunting, and cattle industries of Oklahoma. The tuberculosis herd accreditation and brucellosis herd certification programs ensure the disease free status of the herds by performing regular testing of the herd every three years. To establish herd status, two whole herd tests must be completed nine to fifteen months apart on all animals over one year of age. These statuses not only help protect a herd from their respective diseases, but also add value to the herd and simplify interstate transportation.
- North American Deer Farmers Association
- North American Elk Breeders Association
- Oklahoma Whitetail Deer Farmers Association
- Whitetails of Oklahoma
For questions about the program, contact: