U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works
Hearing Statements
Date:   04/06/2004
Statement of Michael D. Crapo
Chronic Wasting Disease Financial Assistance Act of 2003.

The purpose of this hearing is to make sure we are doing all that we can to determine the extent of this disease and manage it. States and federal agencies have started on this mission using -- in some cases, diverting -- existing resources. This shows how seriously all are taking the threat, but I want to be sure that our efforts are sustainable.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a national problem. It has existed in Colorado and Wyoming for 40 to 50 years and has since been found in 11 other states and two provinces in Canada.

Although CWD is not found in Idaho yet, it is bordered by Montana and Wyoming, two states with known positive animals.

CWD poses serious problems for wildlife managers. Surveillance is costly and draws resources from other wildlife management needs.

Public concerns and perceptions about human health risks may degrade hunters confidence and their desire to hunt in areas where CWD occurs. This could have substantial economic implications for states where hunting and wildlife watching contribute significantly.

The lack of understanding of CWD transmission and whether it can cause disease in humans or other animals is of concern.

Management of this disease is hindered in part by the fact testing is not possible on live animals.

Due to scheduling conflicts, Senator Feingold could not testify today. However, I would like to submit his testimony for the record.

Today we will hear about the status of existing efforts and review a bill that I am proud to cosponsor with my friends, Senator Allard, Senator Feingold, and Senator Domenici.