Chronic Wasting Disease is spreading alarmingly among deer herds, creating uncertainty for hunters and driving up costs for wildlife agencies faced with the prospect of controlling the disease.
The future of deer hunting and funding for wildlife habitat conservation is at stake if we don’t speak up now.
Take action to demand that the federal government finally take real and meaningful steps to control this emerging epidemic.
Fill out the form below to send a letter to decision makers at the USDA. Look for the ‘Submit’ button on the lower-right of the letter.
Photo courtesy of Tim Lenz.
Revise your standards for CWD with deer hunters in mind
To Whom It May Concern,
Docket No. APHIS-2018-0011Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS Station 3A-03.8700 River Road Unit 118Riverdale, MD 20737-1238Deer hunting is the single most popular form of hunting in the United States, with 9.2 million Americans participating each year, contributing more than $20 billion in economic activity, state and local taxes, and wildlife restoration trust fund excise taxes. Deer hunters play an essential role in the "user pays, public benefits" framework of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Reductions in deer hunting and the number of deer hunters have reverberating impacts that extend far beyond deer and deer hunting directly, including state fish and wildlife agency budgets and their broader fish and wildlife management work, and rural economic health. Deer populations represent one of the great success stories of American wildlife conservation, and deer hunters have led the way; but the continued spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) across the country represents a stark threat to the future of deer populations, deer hunting, and more broadly, the public's wildlife resources. Once again, hunters stand ready to take the steps necessary to address this worrisome issue, but we cannot do it alone. Significant progress must also be made by the deer farming industry. As the lead federal agency tasked with slowing and ultimately ending the further spread of CWD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) must take proactive and meaningful steps, including:1. Reducing the spread of CWD to levels low enough that new cases are extremely rare. 2. Including all effective disease control options, including improved fencing for deer farms and stronger requirements for disease monitoring, surveillance, and decontamination. 3. Covering all native and farmed deer species in North America. 4. Requiring mandatory testing of all dead animals from captive herds. 5. Eliminating the movement of CWD-infected deer from all sources.6. Recommending a third-party review of the APHIS Herd Certification and Interstate Movement program and Program Standards due to continued detection of CWD in herds monitored beyond five years, largely due to flaws with the program.I appreciate the opportunity to provide my remarks, and hope that APHIS will take more aggressive steps to address the growing issue of CWD before further damage is done to our nation's invaluable wild deer herds, ultimately resulting in an inability to effectively manage all wildlife.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]
We're proud to be recognized as a financially accountable and transparent organization.