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November 15, 2021

APHIS giving $5.7M for projects on chronic wasting disease

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APHIS giving $5.7M for projects on chronic wasting disease

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is funding more than 40 projects toward controlling the spread of chronic wasting disease, an incurable prion disease of cervids such as deer and elk.

The agency is giving $5.7 million to 20 states and eight tribes or tribal organizations that plan to develop or implement CWD management and response activities in wild and farmed cervids. Examples of projects include research into predictive genetics and CWD response strategies, evaluations of biosecurity measures on farms, public education efforts, assay validation work, and surveillance implementation or expansion, according to plans that name the projects.

In an Oct. 1 announcement, APHIS administrator Kevin Shea said APHIS is committed to working with state and tribal partners to control and prevent CWD in wild and farmed animals.

“These collaborative efforts will strengthen our ability to find and implement new solutions as part of our mission to safeguard agriculture and natural resources,” he said.

APHIS information describes 43 proposed projects and one ongoing research project that will together receive the $5.7 million in funding.

CWD has been detected in wild and captive herds in 26 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces, and wildlife managers and researchers have documented population declines among white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.