On June 25, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing in the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a priority issue for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF).
This hearing provided an opportunity for members of the House Natural Resources Committee to learn more about the critical need to stop the spread of CWD in order to maintain healthy cervid herds. The Committee heard from a number of individuals, all of whom highlighted the lack of reliable data on the pathways and transmission of CWD. The Subcommittee Chairman, Congressman TJ Cox (CA), opened the hearing by noting the last CWD focused hearing the Committee held was in 2002.
Prior to the hearing, CSF and 37 other organizations submitted a letter to urge House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva and Ranking Member Rob Bishop to advance legislation that would help address CWD.
Since first identified in 1967, CWD has been detected in 26 states as well as several Canadian provinces. CWD is a contagious, neurological disease affecting members of the cervid family, including deer, elk, and moose. The disease is easily spread and is always fatal. Detections of CWD are becoming more common across the country, and the alarming spread of this disease is likely to increase in the coming years. There is no known vaccine or cure.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.51%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (10.07%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (64.03%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (14.39%)