Washington - A new federal plan, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of the Interior, will pursue more herd tracking, case mapping, diagnostic test development and research on chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Washington - A new federal plan, sponsored by the U.S. Department ofAgriculture and Department of the Interior, will pursue more herd tracking,case mapping, diagnostic test development and research on chronic wasting disease(CWD).
Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), a veterinarian supporting theinitiative, says the government's reaction until now has been, "Wedon't know that much. We don't think it's that big of aproblem." With news of the disease's spread westward, lawmakers'mood has changed.
In recent years, the disease has been found in Wyoming, Kansas,Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Agriculture officials are seeking $14.9 million in funding, morethan two times what the Bush administration budgeted. The Department of theInterior is requesting another $14.1 million. The departments are forming apanel to devise a final plan before issuing a formal budget request.
In related news, elk imports from Alberta, Canada, are beingreintroduced to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and theCumberland Plateau, despite issuance of new state CWD guidelines, reports the KnoxvilleNews-Sentinel
The regulations restrict the importing of elk to prevent spreadof chronic wasting disease.
The reintroduction projects are approved because the animals,imported from Elk Island National Park, Alberta, are fenced and testedfrequently for infectious diseases, says Ron Wilson, Tennessee stateveterinarian.
The state of Wisconsin has approved, under competing legislationin the General Assembly and Senate, a CWD bill that would allocate up to $4million to battle the disease.
Both bills would give the Department of Natural Resourcesadditional authority to hunt deer and regulate feeding in an attempt toeradicate CWD.