From: TSS ()
Subject: Chronic Wasting disease may hurt more than deer, U.S. senator fears
Date: May 13, 2005 at 7:24 pm PST
Wasting disease may hurt more than deer, U.S. senator fears
By MARISA LAMPERT, The Times Herald 05/13/2005
The outbreak of Chronic Wasting Disease in New York could mean a millions of dollars lost in hunting revenues, said U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who plans to support a five-point initiative to combat losses.
Were concerned with the economic impact above all, Sen. Schumer said in a conference call Wednesday. In New York, big game is big business, he said, adding that New York has the fourth-highest revenue from hunting in the nation.
Also important, Sen. Schumer said, is public health research, although there is no record that the disease has ever been transmitted from deer to humans.
Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal disease of the brain and nervous system that occurs in deer and elk, similar to what is called mad cow disease. It has been detected in New York.
Sen. Schumers plan would increase funding for research, elevate the Cornell Diagnostic Laboratory in Ithaca to a premier nationwide testing facility, require head testing in infected areas, and push for faster information to keep the public informed. Cornell already runs tests, but could be improved with extra funding, he said.
The overall goal, according to Sen. Schumer is control and eradication, but it is hard to trace where the disease starts and how it spreads.
Deer dont respect state borders, Schumer said. We need a national plan. Sen. Schumer said he is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture for funding to manage and research the disease, and for details on safety precautions already in place.
So far, the seven positive New York Chronic Wasting Disease deer were found in Oneida County. Based on Wisconsins results with 12 percent fewer hunting licenses purchased, if an outbreak were to occur in New York, or even the scare of an outbreak, the state would lose a lot of money.
In a study by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the retail impact of hunting sales in New York State was over $500 million in 2001. In 2004, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties had among the largest deer take numbers for the season.
In Allegany County, there were 10,587 deer taken in 2004 with an estimated $45.8 million economic impact. In Cattaraugus County, there were 10,658 deer taken in 2004 with an estimated $46.1 million economic impact.
©The Times Herald, Olean, N.Y. 2005
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