New Bill to Help Address Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

A new bill introduced today by Senator Jon Tester will help address Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) – a debilitating and always-fatal neurological disease in deer, elk and moose that threatens big game populations and hunting opportunities in Montana and nationwide.  The disease was detected in Montana in 2017 and has been confirmed in 26 states so far.

The Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act will authorize $35 million funding for state and tribal wildlife agencies to take action in response to CWD.  It also authorizes $25 million in funding for practical research to understand and respond to the disease.

“Chronic Wasting Disease is a threat to Montana’s big game, our hunting opportunity, and ultimately our outdoor economy,” said Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation. “Senator Tester’s bill will marshal the resources that our wildlife managers need to fully understand this disease and rapidly respond to outbreaks.”

“Chronic Wasting Disease is a clear and present danger to North America’s deer, elk, and moose herds, and the hunters and communities that depend on them,” said Mike Leahy, director of Wildlife, Hunting and Fishing Policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “But even though the disease has continued to spread, there’s been a lack of urgency in our federal leadership. That promises to change, with these plans to provide states and tribes the support required to respond to this critical threat to America’s wildlife.”

A companion bill to Senator Tester’s bill was also introduced today in the House of Representatives by Reps. Ron Kind and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.