News Release

For immediate release: March 2, 2018

Contact: Michael Crusan

Samples positive for CWD from depopulated deer farm

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health received positive test results for chronic wasting disease (CWD) this week after depopulating a Winona County deer farm first identified with the disease in November 2017. All seven of the remaining white-tailed deer in the herd were harvested, sampled, and found to have the disease affecting deer and elk.

The producer had also moved deer into the Winona City Park, and those three animals were considered exposed to CWD and tested. Results showed no CWD was detected in samples collected from those animals. The next step in the Board’s CWD response is to work with the herd owner to clean and decontaminate the enclosure that contained the positive deer.

“The response to the initial CWD detection and plan to depopulate and test the herd went very well,” said Dr. Linda Glaser, Board of Animal Health assistant director and cervid program manager. “We had the herd owner’s full cooperation, and the support of the USDA and DNR as we investigated the extent of the disease in this herd.”

Only one farmed deer herd found infected with CWD in Minnesota has not been depopulated. That herd is currently quarantined and monitored by the Board. An update on that herd was issued in November 2017 [click this link to read the update].

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.