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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) received a total of $3 million in appropriated funding to support cervid health activities in fiscal year (FY) 2014, and made approximately $1.0 million of this funding available for indemnity of chronic wasting disease (CWD) positive, suspect, and exposed farmed cervids. All of the available FY2014 indemnity funding was used to depopulate three CWD-infected herds. However, several States have asked about the availability of Federal indemnity funds for CWD-exposed animals in the future.
VS plans to offer Federal indemnity for CWD-exposed cervids beginning in FY2015. Briefly, we will prioritize the highest risk CWD-exposed animals for indemnity based on the availability of funding. Any newly reported CWD-positive herds will be considered for indemnity as they are identified, based first on funding availability and secondly on the risk presented by the herd.
We will reassess our fiscal year funding on a quarterly basis so that providing indemnity for exposed animals does not exhaust available funding early in the fiscal year. By taking this fiscally cautious approach, we hope to provide indemnity for positive herds identified later in the fiscal year while removing high-risk animals from the landscape as soon as possible to minimize the risk for disease spread. Further, removal and testing of these exposed animals will provide a better understanding of the disease risk presented by these animals/herds.
VS plans to work with our State and industry stakeholders on the criteria to assess the risk and on the process through which States can request this indemnity. These will be finalized in a VS Guidance Document in the near future. We look forward to working with you to implement this process in the coming year.
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