Two farmed deer test positive for CWD in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Chronic wasting disease has been identified in a farmed deer herd in Crow Wing County near Merrifield, just outside of Brainerd in north-central Minnesota.

News of the infected farm deer Friday, Dec. 30, comes just days after it was reported that a third white-tailed deer infected with CWD had been discovered in the wild in southeastern Minnesota.

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

The Board of Animal Health 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, assistant director at the Board of Animal Health. “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 and the United States 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.

Categories: Press Releases, Whitetail Deer

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