This week, Republican Leader of the House Agriculture Committee Glenn “GT” Thompson and Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin introduced a bipartisan bill to combat chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a contagious, neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose and it is always fatal.
There is no known cure for CWD and it is unclear how the disease is transmitted. As of August 2021, CWD had been confirmed in 25 states, and there are serious concerns that the disease will continue to spread to herds across the country.
The new bill is called the “Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act”. It will support state and tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies as well as fund research into methods to better detect and prevent CWD.
Rep. Thompson said, “This bill was crafted with robust stakeholder support and will prioritize research in the transmission of, resistance to, and diagnosis of CWD. It is imperative we better understand the genetic implications of the disease, so we can develop policies best suited to solve the problem. I look forward to moving quickly with my colleagues in Congress to do our part in eradicating CWD.”
Rep. Ron Kind said, “As an avid hunter, I know how important it is to maintain a healthy deer herd so we can protect our outdoor traditions and economy. CWD is a serious threat to our deer herds, and we need all hands on deck to combat this disease. That’s why I’m proud to team up with my colleague Rep. Thompson and introduce this bipartisan bill that brings scientists, local officials, and hunters to the table to help manage and prevent the spread of CWD.”
The new bill is also supported by several wildlife and sportsmen organizations.