WASHINGTON – News of Montana’s first confirmed case of chronic wasting disease underscores the importance of a bill introduced Tuesday by Reps. Ron Kind and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin. The bill would give states and tribes the funding and other assistance they need to fight the always-fatal neurological disease in deer, moose and elk that threatens the nation’s big-game populations and hunting opportunities.
The National Wildlife Federation and state affiliates support the bill, which would help states launch rapid responses when an outbreak occurs. Chronic wasting disease, which is contagious and affects members of the deer family, leaves animals uncoordinated and emaciated before it kills them. It has spread among herds from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest to the Northeast.
“Chronic Wasting Disease poses a grave threat to North America’s deer, elk, and moose herds, and the hunters and communities that depend on them,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Yet as this terrible disease spreads rapidly across our country, it’s received neither the urgent attention or sufficient resources from Washington to combat it. That is about to change thanks to the leadership of two great sportsmen, Reps. Ron Kind and Jim Sensenbrenner, who understand how serious this threat is and why immediate action is needed. The National Wildlife Federation enthusiastically supports their bill to provide states and tribes the support required to respond to this critical threat to America’s wildlife.” Read more