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Minnesota finds two additional farmed deer with CWDMinnesota finds two additional farmed deer with CWD

Routine testing confirms the disease in farmed deer in north-central Minnesota.

Tim Lundeen 1

January 5, 2017

2 Min Read
Minnesota finds two additional farmed deer with CWD

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has identified chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a farmed deer herd in Crow Wing County near Merrifield in north-central Minnesota.

The herd of 33 mule deer and 100 white-tailed deer is registered with BOAH. Two, two-year-old female deer were slaughtered on the farm and both tested positive for CWD. The deer showed no clinical signs of illness.

BOAH requires CWD testing of all farmed deer or elk that die or are slaughtered and are more than 12 months of age. Routine tissue samples were collected at slaughter from the CWD infected deer. Those samples were tested at the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and then forwarded to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for official confirmation. Those tests confirmed CWD.

“The affected herd has been quarantined,” said Dr. Paul Anderson, BOAH assistant director. “At this point, our priority is making sure no deer leave or enter the farm while we work with the owner to determine the best course of action for the herd. We’re also working closely with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as we develop plans.”

“We hope the full extent of the infection is evaluated soon so overall disease prevalence can be determined for the remaining animals,” said Dr. Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR. “A full accounting of on-farm and movements of farmed animals will help inform DNR’s overall response to the discovery.”

People who hunt near the infected farm should prepare for CWD surveillance during the 2017 deer hunting season. The DNR’s CWD response plan, which establishes general procedures for wild deer surveillance if CWD is detected in a farmed deer facility, is available online at www.mndnr.gov/cwdplan.

CWD is a disease of deer and elk and is caused by an abnormally shaped protein, a prion, which can damage brain and nerve tissue. The disease is most likely transmitted when infected deer and elk shed prions in saliva, feces, urine and other fluids or tissues. There are no known treatments or vaccines and the disease is always fatal. There is no danger to other animal species and CWD is not known to affect humans, though consuming infected meat is not advised.

Previously, CWD was confirmed Nov. 22 in two wild dear near Lanesboro in southeastern Minnesota.

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