News Release

For immediate release: November 22, 2017

Contact: Erin Crider

Chronic Wasting Disease discovered in Winona County farm

Routine disease sampling has led to a positive CWD test result in a three-year-old white-tailed buck from a Winona County farmed herd. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health confirmed the results with the USDA, and has already quarantined the herd and begun its disease investigation. The Board also confirmed it has 10 years of records on this registered herd, which show it has a good history of CWD surveillance.

“This herd is a good example of why dedicated, routine, CWD surveillance is important, and producers should never become complacent with the Board’s testing requirements,” said Dr. Linda Glaser, Board of Animal Health assistant director and cervid program manager. “Those testing and movement records will significantly aid in our CWD investigation of this herd.”

The current herd inventory is seven adult white-tailed deer. The next step for the Board is to track movements of deer into and out of the herd within the last five years. If this tracing effort reveals movements to or from other herds within Minnesota, those herds will become part of the investigation. An initial review of the movement records shows the most recent event occurred in April 2016 when three animals were moved out of the herd. The Board regulates farmed deer and elk in the state, while the DNR responds to and manages CWD in wild deer.

“Department of Natural Resources will follow its CWD response plan for wild deer and work with the Board to obtain information needed to develop a strategy specific to this farm,” said Dr. Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for DNR.

The only other currently quarantined cervid herd in Minnesota is in Crow Wing County. The Board recently issued a press release [click this link to read] announcing continued “CWD not detected” testing results from that herd.

CWD is a disease of the deer and elk family 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. CWD is not known to naturally occur in other animals. The disease is fatal in deer and elk, and there are no known treatments or vaccines. Consuming infected meat is not advised.