U.S. Reps. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, and Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, announced Monday that the bipartisan Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act has received unanimous support among the Wisconsin congressional delegation.

The bill would support state and tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies and support research regarding the causes of CWD. It also would support methods to control the spread of the disease. As of February, CWD has been confirmed in 26 states, and there are serious concerns that the disease will continue to spread to herds across the country. Kind and Sensenbrenner introduced the bill last March.

“As someone who has spent many mornings in a deer stand, I know firsthand how vital it is that we maintain a healthy deer herd across our state. Chronic Wasting Disease has the potential to devastate our deer herds, and in turn hurt the outdoor economy and outdoor traditions that so many Wisconsin communities benefit from,” Kind said in a news release.

Wisconsin DNR Secretary-designee Preston D. Cole said the bill, which promotes scientists, local officials and hunters working together to share research and management innovations, should help slow the spread of CWD.

According to Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, 1,319 deer tested positive for CWD in 24 counties across Wisconsin in 2019. Nine of those 24 counties — Adams, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Juneau, Portage, Richland and Vernon — are in the 3rd Congressional District represented by Kind.

The Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act is also supported by several wildlife and sportsmen organizations, including the: Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Congressional Sportsmen’s