NADeFA has worked closely with USDA/APHIS Veterinary Service for many years to validate the Dual Path Platform (DPP) TB Blood test in Mule Deer and Sika. There have been many hurdles along the way, from not enough animals being TB tested to not enough DPP test kits available to conduct the study.
I am excited to announce that USDA/APHIS VS has moved forward with the DPP pilot for Mule Deer and Sika Deer. These links will take you to the announcement and standard operating procedures for sample collection.
The one concern I have is the cut-off value will initially be set at 200, which is the same as Fallow Deer. The epidemiologist I have talked with assure me the majority of all cervids tested have fallen below the 200 cut-off value.
While the DPP has been performing at 99.8% in whitetail and elk, we are unsure of what the cut-off should be in mule deer and sika. If you have questions on this before you TB test your herd, please feel free to call me, 651-212-1315.
Remember that you can still mix the test within your herd to include the old skin test on those animals in which you absolutely do not want to sacrifice if they react. The skin test comes with its own challenges and many breeders have forgot why we have worked so hard to develop a better test.
Shawn Schafer, Executive Director
North American Deer Farmers Association