Senator Tester Introduces Bill to Tackle Chronic Wasting Disease

New legislation would boost efforts to fight deadly wildlife disease

Paradise Valley Mule Deer

Paradise Valley Mule Deer

Today, Senator Jon Tester took action on one of the biggest challenges facing Montana hunters by introducing a bill in Congress to  help state and tribal wildlife agencies address the growing threat to Montana’s big game from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a deadly neurological illness that is fatal to deer, elk and moose.  This fall, the disease was discovered in the wild in Montana for the first time.  The disease poses a grave threat to Montana’s wildlife and hunting opportunity.

“Senator Tester’s bill will give Fish, Wildlife and Parks and wildlife managers around the country the resources they need to aggressively tackle this deadly disease.” said Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation.  “Montana hunters are lucky to have a leader like Jon Tester, who is willing to put the spotlight on this issue and work toward a practical, on-the-ground response.”

Senator Tester’s bill would provide badly needed funding to state wildlife agencies to help fund biologists, equipment and other specialty needs to fight this disease. CWD is a degenerative neurological disease that is extremely difficult to kill and is highly contagious among wildlife. It is always fatal and in some states has led to large declines in deer herds.  A companion bill has also been introduced in the House of Representatives.

“Chronic Wasting Disease is the single greatest threat to our deer and elk herds,” said Bill Geer, MWF president. “Now that it’s confirmed in Montana, we have to act quickly to address this major issue for our cherished wildlife. Sen. Tester’s bill will give state agencies like Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks the resources they need to work to keep this disease at an absolute minimum in our wildlife.”

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