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Registration

A person who raises farmed cervidae (deer or elk) in Minnesota must be registered with the Board of Animal Health and meet all the requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes 32.153, 35.155 and Minnesota rules 1721.0370 to 1721.04.

“Cervidae” means animals that are members of the family Cervidae and includes, but is not limited to, white-tailed deer, mule deer, red deer, elk, moose, caribou, reindeer, and muntjac.

“Farmed cervidae” means cervidae that are raised for any purpose and are registered in a manner approved by the Board of Animal Health. Farmed cervidae are livestock and are not wild animals for purposes of game farm, hunting, or wildlife laws.

To register a farmed cervidae herd, the owner must submit a registration application and inventory report to the Board of Animal Health along with a check for the annual inspection fee equal to $10 per animal in the herd up to a maximum of $100.

Each farmed cervidae facility must be inspected by the Board of Animal Health each year to verify compliance with Minnesota Statutes 35.153, 35.155 and Minnesota rules 1721.0370 to 1721.04.

Pay registration fee online

Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease of deer and elk caused by an abnormally shaped protein, called a prion that can damage brain and nerve tissue. The disease is most likely transmitted from one animal to another through shedding of abnormal prions in saliva, feces, urine, and other bodily fluids or tissues. CWD is a slow and progressive disease without any known treatment or vaccine.

All farmed cervidae producers are required to test their herds for CWD. From each herd, all farmed cervidae 12 months of age and older that die or are slaughtered must be tested for CWD. Tissue samples are tested for CWD at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

In order to maintain accurate CWD surveillance information, producers must report to the Board of Animal Health, all deer or elk that die or are moved out of the herd to other locations.

Minnesota’s endemic area

The Board has determined there is an endemic area for CWD in the state based on the identification of 11 CWD positive free-ranging (wild) white-tailed deer harvested in Fillmore County during the 2016 fall hunting season and subsequent deer harvest in early 2017.

This endemic area includes all locations within 10 miles of a confirmed case of CWD in wild cervidae. The map linked below depicts the perimeter of this 10 mile area around the harvest location of these 11 CWD positive wild deer.

The designation of this area impacts farmed cervidae herds found within the area. Farmed cervidae in these herds are restricted from moving to other areas of the state until the producer can demonstrate the herd is maintained in such a way to prevent commingling of farmed and wild cervidae. Commingling of farmed and wild cervidae can occur across a fence and additional exclusionary barriers must be constructed and approved by the Board to prevent this commingling. Producers that have established exclusionary fencing or barriers must be inspected by the Board before the movement restriction on their herd is released.

Click here to view the current endemic area map.

If additional CWD positive free-ranging cervidae are found in subsequent surveillance of the wild deer herd, the endemic area may need to expand. The Board can designate a larger geographic area of the state if necessary to prevent the spread of CWD.

Click here to view endemic areas across the United States.

Tuberculosis

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that can affect many mammals, including members of the cervidae family. The disease is caused by Mycobacterium bovis. It can be transmitted between livestock, humans, and other animals. The disease is spread through respiratory and oral secretions from infected animals.

The Board of Animal Health administers a voluntary tuberculosis accreditation program for farmed cervidae herds. To be awarded tuberculosis accredited status, a herd must be found negative on two consecutive whole herd tuberculosis tests conducted nine to fifteen months apart. To maintain this status, whole herd tuberculosis tests must be conducted every 36 months.

Brucellosis

Bovine brucellosis is a contagious disease of ruminant animals that can also affect humans. It is caused by bacteria known as Brucella abortus. The disease is spread through fluids from infected animals.

The Board of Animal Health administers a voluntary brucellosis certification program for farmed cervidae herds. To be awarded brucellosis certified status, a herd must be found negative on two consecutive whole herd brucellosis tests conducted nine to fifteen months apart. To maintain this status, whole herd brucellosis tests must be conducted every 36 months.