National Wildlife Federation Outdoors

The Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act with Representative Ron Kind

March 24, 2022

In this episode Aaron and Ashley talk with Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin. Representative Kind discusses how he came to understand the weight of CWD and eventually become a champion for it in Washington D.C. We cover what the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act is, it’s current status, how it could impact states’ ability to manage the disease, and the boost it would give to researchers’ efforts to develop new science and tools like a live test for CWD!

Links:

Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus

Show notes:

4:33 – Rep. Ron Kind talks about his background as a bow hunter growing up in Wisconsin, his family farm where they hunt whitetail and pheasant, how he got into politics and how he got involved with Chronic Wasting Disease.

6:58 – Rep. Kind talks about 2002 when CWD was first detected in Wisconsin.

10:15 --  Rep. Kind is asked whether or not he has ever harvested a deer which has tested positive for CWD.

12:31 -- Discussing the fact that CWD will be handled at the state level and the CWD Research and Management Act will provide funding directly to states and Tribal management agencies.

14:15 – Rep. Kind shares some of the frustrations he has experienced as a hunter trying to test the deer he has harvested. He gives an overview of the CWD Research and Management Act and the end goal.

16:04 -- How is this bill different than previous attempts at trying to control the disease?

18:10 -- What is Rep. Ron Kind telling other Senators and collogues who need to get moving on this Bill right now?

20:24 -- Rep. Kind brings us back to the moment when he realized CWD was a major problem.

23:55 -- What are the lessons that other states can learn from Wisconsin? “Don’t be afraid of testing, just because you’re not testing doesn’t mean it is not there.”

25:13 -- What will be entailed in the review of the herd certification standards which are currently in place?

27:13 -- Discussion regarding the potential and importance of a live test for CWD.

28:35 -- How do we smooth out the dips in the funding cycle for this Bill? It would be great if it was eradicated within six years but we need to be realistic as we look forward on the next iteration of this bill and (maybe) an eventual permanent authorization on this.

30:38 -- What does the average hunter needs to think about and what actions should they be taking to stay engaged and keep this movement.

33:07 -- Rep. Kind discusses the decline of hunters and fewer youth being involved with hunting and fishing. He highlights that this is another issue we need to address as hunters and anglers are some of the most powerful conservationists out there.

35:13 – Update as of 03/23/2022 regarding the CWD Research and Management Act.

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