Senate Introduces Act to Secure 70 Million in CWD Funding

Senate Introduces Act to Secure 70 Million in CWD Funding Outdoor Life

The Senate Just Introduced the CWD Act, Securing $70 Million for Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Prevention

Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced bipartisan legislation to address chronic wasting disease in deer nationwide.

The senators introduced the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act, a Senate companion to the legislation the U.S. House of Representatives passed in December 2021 with an overwhelming 393-33 vote.

The act would enable coordination among the USDA, state and tribal wildlife agencies, and state departments of agriculture. It would develop education programs and techniques to prevent the spread of CWD and provide $35 million in funding over the next seven years. An additional $35 million would fund research, new detection methods, improved testing, and effective transmission barriers.

Senate Introduces Act to Secure 70 Million in CWD Funding Outdoor Life

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers expressed support for the companion legislation.

“Chronic wasting disease poses an increasing threat to deer, elk, and wild cervids, with no known cure,” said BHA president and CEO Land Tawney. “CWD also threatens the millions of Americans who rely on healthy cervid populations for food and outdoor traditions. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers commend Senators Hoeven and Heinrich for addressing this crisis and providing federal resources for cooperative CWD research and management between state and tribal agencies.”

“Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if, but when your state or region will be impacted by CWD,” said Tawney. “We look forward to working with Senate and House leaders to expedite the advancement of the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act to the president’s desk.”

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CWD has now spread to 29 states and three Canadian provinces. Detecting the disease in live deer is difficult. In March, President Biden signed a $10 million bill to combat CWD, but the funding is insufficient. The $70 million total would significantly assist wildlife and agricultural agencies currently working on this issue.