With deer hunting being the most popular hunting activity in the United States, we consider chronic wasting disease (CWD) a serious threat to our nation’s wild deer herds and rich hunting heritage, its continued spread places the entirety of state-led wildlife management in peril. As such, we strongly support efforts to control CWD in captive cervids given the risk it poses to free-ranging cervids. This is especially important given that CWD continues to spread in both wild and captive cervid populations, and there is heightened concern about possible human health implications of CWD.
We believe that sections and omissions of the current United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service(APHIS) CWD Revised Program Standards contribute to the spread of this disease and its frequency in existing CWD positive states. Louisiana Wildlife Federation join others in calling on USDA APHIS to strengthen the CWD Revised Program Standards in order to address strategies and rules which will lead to the prevention of, education about, andmanagement for CWD impacts to cervid populations, and related recreation, businesses, and the economy.