Hoeven, Baldwin Introduce Legislation to Bolster Research on Chronic Wasting Disease

Senators Working to Provide Tools to Stop Spread of Fatal, Contagious Disease in Deer, Elk Herds

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) this week introduced the Chronic Wasting Disease Research Act, bipartisan legislation to establish a chronic wasting disease research grant program. Chronic wasting disease, which poses a serious threat to deer populations, is a fatal and contagious neurological disorder that has been documented in both captive and live herds in 26 states across the country.

“North Dakota has a rich outdoor heritage with many sportsmen participating in the annual deer hunt. Chronic Wasting Disease threatens deer populations in North Dakota and across the nation, however very little is known about this fatal disease,” said Senator Hoeven. “This legislation provides grants to help bolster research into prevention and management efforts to stop this very contagious disease from impacting not only our sportsmen by protecting deer in the wild, but also our deer farmers.” 

“In Wisconsin, we have a proud, longstanding tradition of hunting and enjoying the great outdoors. But season after season, our sportsmen and women continue to deal with the presence of Chronic Wasting Disease in new areas,” said Senator Baldwin. “It’s clear we need to invest more federal resources in researching how to stop the spread of this deadly wildlife disease that threatens Wisconsin’s hunting traditions and our deer herds. I’m proud to join Senator Hoeven and provide our state and tribal partners the tools they need to take on this disease.”

Specifically the bill authorizes up to $15 million annually for chronic wasting disease research, such as:

  • Detection and decontamination of disease in deer
  • Long-term suppression and eradication of chronic wasting disease
  • Determining markers for genetic resistance

Entities eligible for the research grants include universities, state and tribal departments of agriculture, research facilities conducting chronic wasting disease research, as well as tribal research facilities. 

“On behalf of North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA), we would like to thank Senators Hoeven and Baldwin for introducing the Chronic Wasting Disease Research Act. This is a tremendous step forward in battling this national animal health disease.  The stigma around this disease has a negative impact on the number of people who hunt and the industries that support hunting. I applaud our sponsors’ foresight and dedication in combating CWD as this legislation is the key to protecting both wild and farmed deer and elk and to stop its spread across the country”, said Shawn Schafer, Executive Director of NADeFA.