CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has introduced a bill that she says addresses the need for improved responses to wildlife diseases such as white nose syndrome, a fungal infection that has killed off bats.
Shea-Porter, D-N.H., originally introduced the Wildlife Disease Emergency Act in 2010. That year, she also led a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting an allocation of $5 million to help combat white nose syndrome.
The new bill would allow the Department of the Interior to declare wildlife disease emergencies in multiple states. Once an emergency is declared, the department would lead a coordinated response in partnership with federal agencies, state and local governments.
"Recent wildlife diseases have devastated animal populations and left gaps that damage local ecosystems and economies," said Shea-Porter, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. "In 2010, I tried to secure resources to address this. Since then, the problem has only gotten worse. We need to contain these diseases and protect our pollinators before it's too late."