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 expanded the endemic area for CWD in the state based on the identification of six additional CWD positive free-ranging (wild) white-tailed deer harvested in Fillmore County during the 2017 fall hunting season. A total of 17 CWD positive wild deer have been identified since the fall of 2016.
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.