Chronic Wasting Disease Near Lansboro, MN
Two deer in killed by hunters in southeast Minnesota tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, one deer harvested near Lanesboro was confirmed positive for the disease, while the second is expected to be confirmed later this week.
The two deer were killed about one mile apart from each other, and they are the only deer to test positive for CWD out of the 2,493 samples collected by the DNR earlier this month. Results are still pending from 373 samples collected during the second firearms season.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has since established a disease control zone with a 10-mile radius from the area where the two affected deer were shot. Owners of deer and elk herds within the zone will not be able to transport the animals into or out of the area until an investigation and evaluation is complete. There are four deer or elk farms located within the disease control zone.
These are the only deer that tested positive from 2,493 samples collected Nov. 5-13. Results are still pending from approximately 373 additional test samples collected during the opening 3 days of second firearms season, Nov. 19-21.
DNR already has begun implementing the state’s CWD response plan. We will be working closely with landowners and other organizations – as well as hunters – to develop and implement disease management strategies that will protect the state’s deer herd and provide hunters the opportunity to pass on their deer hunting traditions.
This is the first time deer killed in Minnesota have tested positive for CWD since a single case was confirmed in a deer killed near Pine Island in 2010, according to the DNR.
What is CWD?
CWD is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose. It causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death.
CWD belongs to a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Within this family of diseases, there are several other variants that affect domestic animals:
- Scrapie, which has been identified in domestic sheep and goats for more than 200 years;
- Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle (also known as “mad cow disease”); and
- Transmissible mink encephalopathy in farmed mink.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have not found any evidence that CWD poses a health risk to humans, but experts advise against eating infected meat.
Prevention is the best approach
DNR conducts CWD surveillance to keep Minnesota deer healthy. The prevalence and geographic spread of CWD is increasing. Taking steps to better protect deer from disease is vital to Minnesota’s hunting tradition and economy.
An additional protection prevents whole carcasses of deer, elk, moose and caribou from anywhere in North America to be brought in to Minnesota. Until August 2016, whole carcasses could be brought in if they were not harvested in an area infected with CWD.
Recent focused surveillance efforts
2014: Triggered by the detection of several CWD-infected deer in 2014 from Iowa’s Allamakee County, the Minnesota DNR collected 411 samples in southeastern Minnesota deer permit areas 348 and 349. All test results were negative.
2012-2014: In mid-2012, a captive European red deer (Cervus elaphus) was found infected with CWD in a herd of approximately 400 animals from North Oaks. In response, DNR collected samples from 350 deer, all within a 10-mile radius of the farm on the northeastern edge of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. All test results were negative.