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H.R. 4454: Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act

The text of the bill below is as of Nov 21, 2017 (Introduced).


I

115th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 4454

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 21, 2017

(for himself and Mr. Sensenbrenner) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committee on Natural Resources, 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

A BILL

To support State and tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies to address chronic wasting disease among deer, elk, and moose populations, to support applied research regarding the causes of chronic wasting disease and methods to control the further spread of the disease, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Definitions.

Sec. 3. Findings.

Sec. 4. Support for State efforts to manage and control chronic wasting disease.

Sec. 5. Support for applied research regarding chronic wasting disease.

Sec. 6. Multi-agency cooperation with States to address chronic wasting disease.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Chronic wasting disease

The term chronic wasting disease means the animal disease afflicting among deer, elk, and moose populations that—

(A)

is a transmissible disease of the nervous system resulting in distinctive lesions in the brain; and

(B)

belongs to the group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which group includes scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

(2)

Eligible grant recipient

The term eligible grant recipient means a State department of wildlife, State department of agriculture, college or university, or related research center conducting scientific applied research regarding chronic wasting disease.

(3)

Indian tribe

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

(4)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Wildlife Services.

3.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Pursuant to State and Federal law, the States retain primary and policy-making authority with regard to wildlife management, and nothing in this Act interferes with or otherwise affects the primary authority of the States in managing wildlife generally, or managing, surveying, and monitoring the incidence of chronic wasting disease.

(2)

Chronic wasting disease, the fatal neurological disease found in cervids, is a fundamental threat to the health and vibrancy of deer, elk, and moose populations, and the increased occurrence of chronic wasting disease in regionally diverse locations in recent months necessitates an escalation in applied research, surveillance, monitoring, and management activities focused on containing and managing this lethal disease.

(3)

As the States move to manage existing levels of chronic wasting disease and insulate noninfected wild and captive cervid populations from the disease, the Federal Government should endeavor to provide integrated and holistic financial and technical support to these States and the many State departments of wildlife, State departments of agriculture, colleges and universities, and related research centers conducting scientific applied research regarding chronic wasting disease.

(4)

The Secretary should provide consistent, coherent, and integrated support structures and programs for the benefit of State wildlife and agricultural administrators, as chronic wasting disease can move freely between captive and wild cervids across the broad array of Federal, State, tribal, and local land management jurisdictions.

(5)

The Secretary can provide consistent, coherent, and integrated support systems under existing legal authorities to States and the many State departments of wildlife, State departments of agriculture, colleges and universities, and related research centers conducting scientific applied research regarding chronic wasting disease.

4.

Support for State efforts to manage and control chronic wasting disease

(a)

Availability of Assistance

The Secretary shall allocate funds made available under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (e)(1) directly to State and tribal agencies responsible for wildlife management to support State and tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies to address chronic wasting disease.

(b)

Petition process

A State or tribal agency shall petition the Secretary for a portion of the funds available under subsection (a).

(c)

Funding Priorities

In determining the amounts to be allocated to State and tribal agencies under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give priority to States and tribal agencies based on the following criteria:

(1)

Relative scope of incidence of chronic wasting disease on lands of the State or Indian tribe, with priority given to those States and Indian tribes with the highest incidence of the disease.

(2)

State or tribal expenditures on chronic wasting disease management, monitoring, surveillance, and applied research, with priority given to those States and Indian tribes that have shown the greatest financial commitment to managing, monitoring, surveying, and researching chronic wasting disease.

(3)

Comprehensive and integrated State or tribal policies and programs focused on chronic wasting disease management between involved State or tribal wildlife and agricultural agencies, with priority given to those States and Indian tribes that have integrated the programs and policies of all involved agencies related to chronic wasting disease management.

(4)

Rapid response to new outbreaks of chronic wasting disease, whether occurring in areas in which chronic wasting disease is already found or areas with first infections, with the intent of containing the disease in any new area of infection.

(d)

Rapid response fund

The Secretary shall use funds made available under subsection (e)(1)(C) as a rapid response fund to support State and tribal efforts to control the spread of chronic wasting disease upon the detection of chronic wasting disease among deer, elk, or moose populations not previously infected.

(e)

Authorization of Appropriations

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $35,000,000 to support State and tribal efforts to manage and control chronic wasting disease, of which—

(A)

$20,000,000 shall be allocated to States under subsection (a);

(B)

$5,000,000 shall be allocated to tribal agencies under subsection (a); and

(C)

$10,000,000 shall be retained for the rapid response fund under subsection (d).

(2)

Availability

Funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.

(3)

Limitation on administrative costs

Not more than three percent of the amount appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) may be used to cover administrative expenses incurred by the Secretary.

5.

Support for applied research regarding chronic wasting disease

(a)

Expansion of applied research Grants

The Secretary shall make grants to support efforts to expand and accelerate applied research on chronic wasting disease, including (but not limited to) research regarding the following:

(1)

Sustainable cervid harvest management practices to reduce chronic wasting disease occurrence and to prevent or limit spatial spread of chronic wasting disease.

(2)

Management experiments and strategies designed for long-term suppression of chronic wasting disease.

(3)

Harvest management practices and other practices that exacerbate chronic wasting disease occurrence, with an emphasis on retrospective analyses of available harvest management and chronic wasting disease trend data.

(4)

Factors contributing to local emergence of chronic wasting disease, increased prevalence of chronic wasting disease, and distribution of chronic wasting disease, including mechanisms of disease transmission and effective barriers to transmission.

(5)

Methods and products to effectively detect infectious prions in, and decontaminate infectious prions from natural environments and inorganic surfaces.

(b)

Authorization of Appropriations

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $10,000,000 to make grants under subsection (a).

(2)

Availability

Funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.

(3)

Limitation on administrative costs

Not more than three percent of the amount appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) may be used to cover administrative expenses incurred by the Secretary.

6.

Multi-agency cooperation with States to address chronic wasting disease

Land management agencies of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior shall work cooperatively with States—

(1)

in the conduct of applied research regarding chronic wasting disease; and

(2)

in the implementation of State chronic wasting disease response plans to reduce the spread and prevalence of chronic wasting disease.