AFWA Statement on Cause of CWD…

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Approves Statement on the Cause of Chronic Wasting Disease

Washington D.C. (March 12, 2019)- Last week, at the 84th North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference, state directors approved a statement entitled Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Statement on Chronic Wasting Disease Etiology  during the of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies business meeting. This statement was drafted by leading experts in wildlife disease management and affirms the current scientific consensus that Chronic Wasting Disease, a 100% fatal disease of deer, elk, moose, and reindeer, is caused by a misfolded protein called a ‘prion.’

“Recent media coverage has focused on alternative theories that suggest that Chronic Wasting Disease may be caused by v bacteria or other sources,” said Ed Carter, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “We felt that until there was definitive proof otherwise, it was important that the Association go on record as supporting the overwhelming scientific consensus that Chronic Wasting Disease is caused by mutated protein known as prions.”

The Association and its members have been at the forefront of Chronic Wasting Disease management for decades, having most recently written and adopted the Best Management Practices for Prevention, Surveillance, and Management of Chronic Wasting Disease which provides extensive guidance to state, federal, provincial, and territorial wildlife agencies tasked with managing this disease.

“I strongly support the statement that is being released by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies today,” said Bob Duncan, Director of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and chair of the Association’s Fish and Wildlife Health Committee.  “Our nation’s hunters deserve to have the best available scientifically credible information about this deadly disease, and to know that our state, federal, provincial, and territorial wildlife agencies are doing everything within their power to stop its spread.”