Sending Office: Shea-Porter, Carol
Save Local Economies and Ecosystems from Devastating Wildlife Diseases
Cosponsor the “Wildlife Disease Emergency Act of 2018”
Endorsed by the American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense
Council, and Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Please join us in cosponsoring the Wildlife Disease Emergency Act of 2018 (WDEA), legislation that would help the Secretary of the Interior
prepare for, identify, and respond to wildlife disease emergencies.
It is crucial that the Department of the Interior has the ability to monitor wildlife diseases and effectively coordinate a response
to these emergencies as they arise. Wildlife diseases are a threat to our nation’s economy, food security, and environmental health. North American bat populations are currently suffering from white-nose syndrome (WNS), an emergent disease that is quickly
spreading across the United States and Canada. Characterized by a white fungus that grows on the skin of hibernating bats, WNS has killed more than 5.7 million bats throughout 25 states.
Diseases like white-nose syndrome impact our nation’s economy. Approximately 75% of our crops depend on pollinators like bats and bees.
Bees alone contribute to nearly $19 billion worth of crops, while the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that bats provide at least $3.7 billion in pest control services to farmers each year. The loss of just these two species from diseases would be devastating
to our nation’s agriculture, endangering our economic and food security.
The WDEA addresses the threats posed by wildlife diseases by giving the Secretary the authority to declare and coordinate responses
to wildlife disease emergencies. It also provides for the creation of a Wildlife Disease Committee to assist in preparing federal agencies, state governments, and tribal entities to respond to these diseases. Finally, it gives the Secretary the tools to fund
these important emergency response activities by authorizing a grant program to support state and tribal actions and establishing a Wildlife Disease Emergency Fund within the U.S. Treasury.
We hope that you will strongly consider showing your support for addressing the spread of wildlife diseases by cosponsoring this important
legislation. To be added as a cosponsor, please contact Alex Cronheim in Rep. Shea-Porter’s office at
Member of Congress
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