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H.R. 6276 (111th): Wildlife Disease Emergency Act of 2010

The text of the bill below is as of Sep 29, 2010 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. R. 6276


September 29, 2010

(for herself and Ms. Bordallo) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to identify and declare wildlife disease emergencies and to coordinate rapid response to these emergencies, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Wildlife Disease Emergency Act of 2010.



The purposes of this Act are to—


authorize the Secretary of the Interior to identify and declare wildlife disease emergencies;


establish a fund through which the Secretary may coordinate rapid response to these emergencies; and


prepare for, identify, and address diseases adversely affecting wildlife populations and biodiversity through strategic and coordinated actions between the Federal agencies and State and local agencies, Indian tribes, and nongovernmental organizations.


Declaration of wildlife disease emergency


In general

The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Governor of a potentially affected State or States, may declare within such State or States a wildlife disease emergency for disease that is—


occurring within the United States; or


occurring outside the United States with the potential to enter the United States.



In making a declaration under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider—


the level of threat the disease poses to affected wildlife populations, based on the—


relative threat to population levels;


relative strength of the contagion and spread of the disease;


observed rate of morbidity or mortality of the disease; and


priority of affected species or ecosystems, including—


species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);


species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.), Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), or other Federal statutes;


species and habitats identified as priorities through the National Fish and Wildlife Climate Adaptation Plan or other Federal, State or local laws, regulations, and conservation plans; and


wildlife located on Federal lands;


the sufficiency of resources available in the Wildlife Disease Emergency Fund established under section 4;


the ability of the Department of the Interior and other Federal, State, and local agencies, tribal governments, and other stakeholders to address and coordinate response to the disease through other authorities; and


the request of any State Governor to make such a declaration.


Response coordination


In general

Upon a declaration of a wildlife disease emergency by the Secretary, the Secretary shall lead a coordinated response to the emergency that shall include appropriate Federal agencies, State and local governments, Indian tribes, nongovernmental organizations, or other stakeholders.


Grant program

The Secretary shall develop and implement a grant program to provide funding to State wildlife agencies and Indian tribes to address wildlife disease emergencies.


Wildlife Disease Emergency Fund



There is established in the Treasury of the United States a separate account, which shall be known as the Wildlife Disease Emergency Fund and shall consist of—


such amounts as are appropriated to the Secretary for activities to address wildlife disease emergencies authorized by this Act; and


any amounts received by the Secretary as donations, gifts, or contributions identified for use to address wildlife disease emergencies.


Expenditures from fund

Subject to the availability of appropriations, amounts in the fund shall be available to the Secretary for use in carrying out activities authorized by this Act.


Wildlife Disease Committee



The Secretary may establish a Wildlife Disease Committee. The purpose of the Committee shall be to assist the Secretary in increasing the level of preparedness of the United States to address emerging wildlife diseases.



The Committee shall—


advise the Secretary on risk assessment, preparation, monitoring, research, and response to wildlife diseases that may significantly impact the health and sustainability of wildlife populations; and


draft reports, recommendations, plans, or other documents toward accomplishment of these purposes as appropriate.



Members of the Committee—


shall be appointed by the Secretary from among individuals who are qualified by education, training, and experience; and


shall include—


individuals employed by Federal and State agencies and tribal entities who have expertise in wildlife health, biology, ecology, wildlife conservation, and natural resource management; and


representatives of public and private organizations who have such expertise.


Committee chair

The Committee shall be chaired by the Secretary or a designee of the Secretary.


Staffing and assistance

The Secretary shall make available to the Committee any staff, information, administrative services, or assistance the Secretary determines is reasonably required to enable the Committee to carry out its functions.



Notwithstanding the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. 5 et al.), the Secretary may renew the Committee beyond the date it would otherwise terminate under that Act.


Rapid response teams

The Secretary, in consultation with the Committee as appropriate, may convene rapid response teams to address any particular wildlife disease emergency.


Savings clause

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to—


limit the Secretary’s authority to respond to wildlife disease events that are not declared wildlife disease emergencies under this Act; or


limit, repeal, supersede, or modify any provision of Federal, State, local, or tribal laws and regulations.



In this Act:



The term disease means an infectious or noninfectious, pathological condition occurring in a susceptible population of wildlife, and that is not zoonotic.



The term fund means the Wildlife Disease Emergency Fund as established by section 4.


Indian tribe

The term Indian tribe has the meaning given that term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).



The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.



The term State means any State, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.


United States

The term United States includes the States and the territories and possessions of the United States.



The term wildlife means any species native to the United States including nondomesticated mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and arthropods.


Wildlife disease emergency

The term wildlife disease emergency means a disease that is—


infectious and caused by a newly discovered pathogen or a known infectious disease that is expanding its geographic range, species impacted, or other recognized impacts;


posing significant threats to the sustainability of a wildlife species;


spreading rapidly; or


posing a significant threat to the health of a functioning ecosystem in a priority landscape identified as part of the National Fish and Wildlife Climate Change Adaptation Plan or another Federal, State, local, or tribal law, regulation, or conservation plan.