A Bill to End Lyme Disease: HB 5852

Connecticut House Bill 5852, introduced by the Chair of the Environment Committee, State Senator Ed Meyer in January 2008 had the potential to end the Lyme epidemic and return balance to deer populations, thereby restoring our forests to health. It was not however called for a vote by the Speaker of the House, James Amann due to the number of amendments added to the bill in the last days by one or two legislators who opposed control of Lyme disease and opposed public awareness of the role of deer in perpetuating the epidemic.

The concept behind HB 5852: An Act Concerning the Control of Lyme Disease still needs support across the state. Please call your local state senator and representative and ask them to support creation of a multi agency state policy to end Lyme disease, based on state experts' advice, (not the wishes of animal activists) by updating the state deer management policy and publicly clarify the vital role of high deer numbers in perpetuating the Lyme epidemic.

Who should we trust? State experts with 25 years of experience researching the relationship between deer and ticks and Lyme, or those with special interests and agendas who tell us there is no relationship between deer numbers and Lyme disease? 

Tick experts at the Connecticut Agricultural Station have stated in their supporting testimony for this bill that "a deer density below 10 to 12 deer per square mile could decrease the tick population to a level that would reduce the burden of Lyme disease in a community." And that "Deer population management is an important tool in any long term strategy to reduce tick abundance and the human incidence of Lyme disease."

We need a policy to end controversy in our towns and provide the level of leadership that is needed to move forward with a plan to end Lyme disease now! Lyme disease has become the "Unnecessary Epidemic". Connecticut can be free of Lyme disease in less than 5 years if our elected representatives have the political will. They respond to input from their voters. Right now they only hear from well funded and organized deer protection organizations. You need to redress that balance if you are interested in a health balanced environment, diverse animal populations and a healthy family that can enjoy the outdoors without the constant threat of tick borne diseases.

You can watch short video clips of some of the testimony given at the Public hearing on March 10 th and an interview with Dr. Kirby Stafford PhD., Vice Director of the Ct Ag Experiment Station, explaining the connection between deer numbers and tick survival and Lyme disease at the web site of the Connecticut Coalition to Eradicate Lyme Disease: www.EradicateLymeDisease.org

Remember that three real communities in New England have already ended their Lyme epidemics just by controlling their deer numbers, so don't let anyone tell you "it can't be done" or "it doesn't really work", or "it only works on islands" or "it's not the deer its the mice" or "ticks go up not down when deer are reduced" or any of the other multiple excuses and distortions of the truth used for inaction by those who would protect deer above all other animals.