BOZEMAN – The North American Assembly of Outfitter Associations is holding its annual conference in Bozeman this week. Industry leaders from Canada to New Mexico have come together to discuss issues relevant across North America, including Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
CWD is fatal and affects deer and elk. Both species can carrying the disease for years without showing signs, making it especially difficult to stop transmissions according to Federal Veterinarian Samantha Gibbs with Fish and Wildlife Service. She presented the latest research to the organizations attending the conference.
Gibbs says limiting transportation of harvested animals is a good way to prevent the disease from spreading further. This year Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will be outlining transportation restrictions during hunting seasons.
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Mac Minard with Montana Outfitters and Guides Association says CWD is a major issue for the hunting industry, which is a top source of out-of-state income for the state.
“It’s going pose one of the most unique management challenges we have. Can it be managed? Absolutely. Can Montana sustain it? No question about it but it’s going take some real education and these kinds of opportunities provide that,” said Minard.
The two-day event is being held at the Best Western Grantree Hotel on July 10 and 11.
Reporting by Mallory Peebles for MTN News