Action Alert: Support Iowa CWD Management Bill

March 18, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

Iowa House File 2458, introduced on February 19 by the Committee on Natural Resources, adds chronic wasting disease (CWD) to the statutorily defined group of "infectious or contagious disease". The bill also expands the authority of the natural resource commission (NRC) to take actions to combat the spread of CWD or other infectious or contagious diseases.

Specifically, HF 2458 authorizes the NRC to "establish a wild animal disease management zone and take such actions within the zone as are necessary to protect wild animal health and conserve biological balance." Actions include: establishing special seasons, preventing the artificial movement of wild animals, wild animal carcasses, or parts thereof, and requiring disease sample collection from harvested wild animals. Additionally, a state biologist or conservation officer may "approach a private landowner or tenant to provide information regarding the wild animal disease prevention, containment, and eradication efforts underway in the area." Similarly, a state biologist or conservation officer may approach a landowner to obtain permission to collect wildlife samples from the landowner's property.

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) prioritizes deer diseases as one of its priority areas, and chronic wasting disease falls squarely within this priority area. CWD is an unprecedented threat to healthy deer herds. Quick, decisive action by state and federal wildlife management agencies is necessary to manage and slow the spread of the disease. Including CWD into the definition of 'infectious and contagious' diseases is a no-brainer, and expanding the authority of Iowa's NRC will go a long way in curbing the spread of CWD in the state. Special seasons, prevention of movement of potentially infected animals, and disease monitoring have proven effective in other states. 

"Iowa is known for its rich deer hunting heritage, and CWD is a significant threat to the state's famous deer herd," said Torin Miller, NDA’s policy and outreach coordinator. "HF 2458 is a big step in the right direction for the long-term management of CWD in Iowa."

Join NDA in supporting increased authority for wildlife management professionals to take action to combat the spread of CWD in Iowa. Iowa's deer herd and rich hunting heritage depend on it. Join NDA in supporting HF 2458; urge your Representatives to vote YES on the bill. Visit the NDA Grassroots Advocacy Center, where you can place your vote of support on the bill and directly email your state Representatives to express your support.