UF Offering Free EHD/BTV Diagnostics for NAEBA Members Through 2016

September 15, 2016

Submit Samples to University of Florida on Mysterious Deaths

HOWARD LAKE-  It’s the time of year when Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and Bluetongue (BTV) are impacting cervids across the United States.  The impact of these diseases on elk pales in comparison to whitetail deer, but there are documented cases of EHD/BTV infecting and killing elk over recent years.  In fact, the disease has also been reported to kill cattle in different states. 

The University of Florida has agreed to partner with the North American Elk Breeders Association to provide diagnostics for EHD/BTV for the membership through the balance of 2016. The testing by the lab will be offered at no charge to the membership.  Members will be liable for shipping costs and sample collection costs by their local veterinarian if the producer cannot collect themselves.  

The University of Florida (UF) has partnered with NAEBA’s Elk Research Council on two elk health projects, including one screening elk for EHD/BTV and another with anthrax.   

“If someone has an elk that dies suddenly, you need to have samples taken immediately and request the kits to ship them to UF,” said Eric Mohlman, chairman of the Elk Research Council. “It may or may not be EHD or BTV, but you need to know so you can rule out causes to protect your herd. Plus, there are different strains of the disease and we need to pinpoint which ones are killing elk. UF is looking at a broad range of agents that could have caused the illness and death, not just EHD/BTV. The end goal is to gather data as to what is affecting elk during this time of year. ”

Dr. Katherine Sayler is the contact for more information and can be reached at 352-871-3259 or saylerk@ufl.edu.


“We already have members sending in samples that have called the ERC asking for help,” Mohlman continued. “You cannot afford not to know and we thank the UF for this opportunity.”


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