C.W.D. legislation concerns wildlife conservationists

C.W.D. legislation concerns wildlife conservationists
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) has confirmed Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in 21 white-tailed deer in northwestern Virginia during the 2019 hunting season. (Source: Pixabay)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This week the Mississippi Wildlife Federation asked Governor Reeves to veto a bill that would make people with high fence enclosures exempt from reporting cases of Chronic Wasting Disease.

Wildlife conservationists are concerned that loosening restrictions on CWD reporting and fines could have devastating impacts on white tail deer in our state.

So far there have been 82 cases of CWD reported in our state since 2018. This year there were 28 cases reported.

If left unregulated, the virus can be easily spread among deer herds and kill off a large part of their population. Those against the legislation say if positive cases are not reported in areas zoned by wildlife officials, it would hamper their efforts to keep the disease from spreading.

Ashlee Smith, C.E.O. of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation said, “The concern is that the more we lessen CWD regulations and rules, and especially if we allow politicians who come and go to regulate these laws on the whim of their donors versus the science at our state wildlife agency, it’s a very dangerous and slippery slope.”

House Bill 382 is still awaiting a signature from the Governor. We attempted to contact representative Scott Bounds who authored the bill but our calls were not returned.

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