The Iowa Department of Agriculture has initiated the voluntary CWD Surveillance Inventory Program which requires CWD surveillance, reporting, and testing of those farmed cervidae 12 months of age and older that dies from any cause. Before any cervidae is imported into the state it must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI - health certificate), permit issued by our Department, meet Iowa’s import requirements  and a review of the herd history. 

Since the start of the CWD surveillance program in 2002, the farmed cervid producers have submitted over 5,556 brain samples for CWD testing. If CWD is diagnosed in a farmed cervid, the farm would be quarantined and the disease eradicated using recommended disease control strategies. The threat of CWD is a serious concern to Iowa and the cervidae industry. All practical steps to minimize the spreading of the disease are taken.

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Requirements for the Iowa CWD Program

Annual inventory reconciliation recorded by a State District Veterinarian within 90 days of the CWD anniversary date.  Inventory requirements are:

  1. Records shall be kept to document the history/accountability of all animals in the herd.  This includes identification, date of birth and sex of all animals born or received on the premise.
  2.  All animals must have two forms of official identification which are outlined in the Rules under 64.104 Definitions “Official Cervid Identification”.
  3. A copy of a health certificate (CVI) properly filled out and signed by an accredited veterinarian shall be kept to document movement in or out of the herd.  Owners need to retain their health certificates for at least five years.
  4. Surveillance will be maintained by collecting and submitting appropriate samples from all cases of mortality, including slaughter, in animals 12 months of age and older, keeping copies of the laboratory reports.

The CWD Program herd producers upon satisfactory completion of their annual inventories will receive a letter of status verification, and a billfold size certificate card with their herd’s status, CWD herd number, anniversary date, and expiration date.

Triennial Physical Herd Inventory Inspections

Physical Inventories can be performed as part of an official herd test for tuberculosis or brucellosis. Physical Herd Inventories are separate and different from Annual Inventories conducted by our State District Veterinarians and the Physical Herd Inventories are to be conducted triennially.

Physical Herd Inventories will be required for advancement in the program. Physical Herd Inventory completions are allowed during the 90 days before or the 90 days after your herd’s expiration date. 

A complete Physical Herd Inventory must provide verification to reconcile all deer and verification of two approved individual identifications (one must be a USDA official identification tag) with the records maintained by the owner. All Cervid animals must have official identification tags before 12 months of age.

The owner must present the entire herd for the Physical Herd Inventory inspection where the department, a state authorized veterinarian (accredited veterinarian – their herd veterinarian) or authorized federal personnel can safely read all identifications on the animals and be able to record all identification devices. Attached Instructions for the CWD HCP Physical Herd Inventory/Inspection and Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program Agreement to be reviewed and completed by an accredited veterinarian and a farmed cervid producer.

A complete physical herd inventory must be performed at the time a herd enrolls in the Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program.
Official Cervid Identification: All Cervid 12 months of age or older (All Animals under 12 months of age leaving the premises), shall have a minimum of two forms of animal identification.

  1. USDA Approved with USDA shield - Information on official animal identification devices can be found on the APHIS Traceability website at the following address:
  2. The second form of identification must be one that is approved by IDALS: Unique material tag which provides unique animal identification and CWD herd number.