Chronic wasting disease update: second deer tests positive on Winona County farm

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Saint Paul, Minn - The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has identified another case of CWD in a farmed five-year-old white-tailed buck in Winona County. This is the same farm on which CWD was detected in a three-year-old white-tailed buck last month. The deer was harvested on the farm and samples were collected in November when Board staff visited the farm to establish a quarantine (click here to view press release announcing the initial CWD detection in this herd). Positive results were confirmed by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory on December 8. The Board’s investigation of this herd is ongoing.

CWD is a neurodegenerative disease affecting deer, elk and moose (members of the cervid family) and is always fatal. Abnormally shaped proteins called prions cause the disease and convert normal proteins into infectious ones, which eventually leads to the animal’s death. The disease is believed to be spread from one animal to another through direct contact and/or environmental contamination. Infectious prions can be spread via saliva, feces, urine, and other bodily fluids. Consuming infected meat is not advised.