On April 28, U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Steve Daines (R-MT) unveiled bipartisan legislation to provide $70 million a year to equally support research and management of the debilitating disease. (CWD), which the federal government says is a fatal neurological disease occurring in North American members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose.
Since its discovery in 1967, CWD has spread geographically and its prevalence has increased locally, according to the US Geological Survey.
“CWD is a growing threat to wildlife and livestock, impacting sportsmen, ranchers and the local ecology of regions across the United States,” Senator Hoeven said. “Our legislation would enable state and tribal governments to better manage and prevent outbreaks of this deadly disease, while advancing new methods to detect CWD and limit its spread.”
Senator Hoeven proposed the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act of 2022, S. 4111, with eight original cosponsors, including Senator Daines and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) to authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to administer funds allocated through cooperative agreements with state and tribal wildlife agencies and departments of agriculture, according to a summary of the bill provided by the senator’s staff. Hoven.
“By threatening Montana’s wildlife and ecosystems, chronic wasting disease also threatens the legacy of our sportsmen and our outdoor way of life,” said Sen. Daines. “My bipartisan bill will support Montana’s ongoing efforts to research, manage and contain the spread of chronic wasting disease among wildlife populations.”
If enacted, S. 4111 also includes authorization for the USDA and state and tribal agencies to develop educational materials to inform the public about chronic wasting disease and would direct the USDA to review its certification program. herds within 18 months, among several other provisions, according to the summary. .
The measure is supported by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, National Wildlife Federation, Boone & Crockett, National Deer Association, North American Deer Farmers Association , the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Mule Deer Foundation.