FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2018
House Supports Efforts to Protect Wild and Domestic Animals from Infectious Diseases and Foreign Pathogens
HCR 23 Urges State Departments to Work Cooperatively to Prevent the Spread of Diseases and Pathogens
Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed a resolution urging increased work and cooperation to protect the health of animals in Alaska, both wild and domestic. House Concurrent Resolution 23 encourages state agencies to step up data collection on diseases and foreign pathogens to better facilitate science-based management decisions. The resolution also calls on the Departments of Fish and Game, Natural Resources, and Environmental Conservation to work to prevent the spread of diseases and pathogens that pose a serious risk to wildlife and domestic animals.
“The genesis of this resolution were concerns about the health of Alaska’s wild Dall sheep and goats from the Movi virus that has negatively impacted sheep and goat populations in the lower 48 states. The virus has recently been confirmed in Alaska, which has sparked a vigorous discussion about how to protect these animals,” said HCR 23 sponsor Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage). “I hope this resolution will result in a coordinated effort to monitor and protect Alaska’s tremendous wildlife resources. By working together, we can be proactive and ensure the survival of these amazing animals that are so integral to our vital hunting and tourism industries.”
The Movi virus, which has been documented in a small number of Dall sheep and mountain goats, has contributed to pneumonia outbreaks in lower 48 bighorn sheep that resulted in significant die-offs. The virus impacts animals by impairing their ability to clear harmful bacteria that can collect in the lungs and cause pneumonia. The Movi virus has been documented in Dall sheep and mountain goats in 7 Game Management Units in Alaska.
House Concurrent Resolution 23 passed the Alaska House of Representatives today by a vote of 36-3. The resolution will be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.