Florida Deer Farms Battle Disease
One overlooked area of ranching are deer farms. There are over 400 registered deer farms in the state of Florida, which include 65 of 67 counties. Dr. Samantha Wisely is a professor at the University of Florida, and also the Director of the Cervidae Health Research Initiative known by the acronym CHeRI.
Wisely… “When we first started CHeRI, we surveyed deer farmers and ask them what was the number one thing that was keeping their productivity down. And it turned out that it was a disease called epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus. This is a hemorrhagic disease virus, like something like Ebola might be. So animals get very leaky inside of themselves. This disease, however, is not transmissible to humans. This is only transmissible in ruminants. So cattle can get this disease as well.”
Dr. Wisely and her team decided that they wanted to help deer farmers find an effective solution to this virus. They found three companies that had a vaccine or were in the middle of researching one.
Wisely… “We partnered with them to test where their vaccines were and found two of them to be quite efficacious, so that they worked. And then one of them was not. Actually the one that was not working was one that was commercially available. And so deer farmers are actually spending a fair bit of money on something that didn't work.”
Learn more on the Cervidae Health Research Initiative website.