I have had several calls concerning the prevention and spread of the chronic wasting disease (CWD) among Missouri’s elk and white-tailed deer population; so I want to let you know that an Interim House Committee has now been created to examine the problem. Chronic wasting disease causes a fatal degeneration of the brain in elk, deer and moose, whether in the wild or on a reserve.
House Speaker Jones has announced that State Rep. Sandy Crawford of Buffalo will lead the Interim Committee on the Cause and Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in the Elk and White-Tailed Deer Population. Jones said he hopes the committee will make recommendations that will help protect and manage Missouri’s valuable wildlife resources. Committee hearing dates can be followed at http://house.mo.gov/sitemap.aspx?pid=15
I understand that we know of only a small number of cases of CWD here in Missouri, but it is a problem that can quickly escalate. The committee will ultimately help protect landowners, hunters and all of the hunting-related businesses that exist here in our state by separating the facts from the fiction when it comes to this disease so that we can make good decisions that will help protect these animals as well as our hunting industry.
While the Missouri Department of Conservation has already taken some steps to help prevent the spread of the disease, the legislature can also take a look at what can be done legislatively to help deal with the problem.
For those Missourians who enjoy hunting or who make a living from this industry, it is important that we take the precaution to help prevent the spread of this disease among our animal population.
As always, I appreciate receiving your comments, opinions and concerns regarding legislative matters and state government. My phone number is 573-751-5912. You may also write me at: Shelley Keeney; Missouri House of Representatives; State Capitol, Room 313-1; Jefferson City, MO 65101-6806.