Chronic wasting disease is an ever-growing threat to North American cervid populations. And a new bill is now on the table that could help fund research for the disease.
Just last week, a bipartisan bill made its way to the Senate floor. It could provide researchers with much-needed tools and funding to investigate chronic wasting disease more thoroughly and effectively.
Commonly known as CWD, this disease affects cervids including deer, elk, and moose. It’s a pervasive, fatal disease that continues to grow both geographically and in population numbers. In the areas in which its endemic, it’s extremely difficult to remove.
As CWD continues to proliferate, the threat affects animal populations and the hunting economy at large.
Bill: Chronic Wasting Disease Transmission in Cervidae Study Act
Introduced by Senators John Barasso (R-Wyo.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Michael Bennett (D-Colo.), the bill would help to create a best-practices system for CWD management. It also aims to direct an in-depth study of how CWD is transmitted in deer populations.
These efforts combined will result in a report on both recommendations and findings. And these build on a combined effort by the USDA and the National Academy of Sciences.
Congress is currently in a lame duck session. But with groups like the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership working hard to make sure this bipartisan bill passes, it might stand a fighting chance.