Ten common mistakes deer breeders make

abigdeerCharly Seale, executive director of the Exotic Wildlife Association, recently released a report concerning common errors made by deer breeders when dealing with their facilities and animals.

Texas Parks and Wildlife intends to periodically publish common errors made by deer breeders, with the hope that such errors will be eliminated in the future. This first list of common errors includes both reporting errors and those frequently seen “on the ground” in the facilities by TPWD Wildlife Division and Law Enforcement staff.

Note: This document contains several references to the Online Deer Breeder System (ODBS). Be advised that the ODBS will be replaced with the TWIMS Deer Breeder application in the near future. Thus, all references to the ODBS will soon be replaced with TWIMS.

1.Not maintaining accurate, current, and complete records. This has been a major area of concern. Often times, there are several deer “missing” from the facility and the deer breeder cannot account for those missing deer. Maintaining a real-time (i.e., always accurate) herd inventory in the ODBS will eliminate many problems. Doing so requires all deaths to be entered in the system the same day they are identified.

2.Not activating transfer permits to move deer. Any time a breeder deer moves from a permitted or authorized facility, whether it be to another deer breeder, a nursing facility, or for release onto the property surrounding the breeding facility, a transfer permit MUST be activated via the ODBS prior to the movement of deer.

3.Not completing transfer permits after they are activated. The deer breeder has 48 hours from the effective date and time of a transfer permit to move the deer. The transfer permit must then be completed via the ODBS within 48 hours moving the deer.

4.Not verifying the unique ID of deer that are transferred. Both the source and the destination should verify the unique number tattooed in the deer’s ear as well as the unique ID written on the deer’s ear tag. The deer must also be verified with the unique numbers listed on the transfer permit.

5.Re-tattooing deer with a different unique ID instead of with the original unique ID assigned to the deer. When a tattoo cannot be properly read on the deer’s ear, the original unique ID assigned to the deer MUST be the unique ID that is re-tattooed in the deer’s ear. A new unique ID can only be given to a deer at the request of the Department.

6.Tagging deer in the facility by March 31st with correct and legible information. Each fawn born in a breeder facility must be tagged with its assigned unique ID by March 31st following its birth date.

7.Duplicating unique IDs. The ODBS was developed to help deer breeders keep track of their herd inventories as well as their available unique IDs. Two of the main causes of duplicate unique IDs are:

Maintaining herd-inventory records in a notebook rather than utilizing the ODBS and making up new “unique” IDs rather than requesting new numbers from TPWD deer breeder permitting staff.

8.Delinquent reporting (including facility closures). ALL deer breeders must submit their annual reports and permit renewals (or facility closure) by May 15th of each year. The deer breeder is legally responsible for making sure his annual report is submitted by this date each year. Failure to comply with reporting requirements will result in a citation and possible facility closure.

9.Not testing eligible mortalities for CWD. A facility is Movement Qualified if the herd inventory is reconciled and at least 20 percent of all eligible mortalities have been tested for CWD and returned “Not Detected” results (or has had less than 5 eligible mortalities). The number of eligible mortalities is counted from the date this rule was adopted on May 23, 2006.

10. Not entering the death date in the ODBS prior to submitting a CWD test result, or not including the unique ID on a CWD test result. In order for a CWD test result to be entered in the ODBS, the death date must first be entered in the ODBS. The unique number must also be listed on the test result, meaning either the lab technician at TVMDL must identify the unique ID on the deer head submitted, or the accredited veterinarian who submits the tissue sample to TVMDL observes the unique ID on the deer’s head and writes the unique ID on the TVMDL accession form.