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Senate Introduces Chronic Wasting Disease Research Bill

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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.

American Micropredator: What Is Chronic Wasting Disease?

It’s easy to see a coyote, a mountain lion, or a wolf as an immediate threat to local deer and elk numbers. But the insidious nature of chronic wasting disease is a far worse fate for our cervids — and the threat is real. Read more…

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.

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