Congress floats CWD legislation
New bipartisan legislation in Congress would enable a national study of chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurologic illness that has been detected in deer, elk and moose in 26 states.
Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) introduced the Senate bill (S. 382) on Thursday.
U.S. Reps. Ralph Abraham (RLa.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas) introduced the companion bill in H.R. 837.
The bill will direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study how chronic wasting disease (CWD) is transmitted, how quickly it spreads among a population, and how easily it infects individual animals.
“Chronic wasting disease is one of the greatest threats facing deer and elk. It also jeopardizes the vital conservation funding that hunters generate through license sales and excise taxes on sporting equipment,” said Mike Leahy, director for wildlife, hunting, and fishing policy for the National Wildlife Federation.