News Release

For immediate release: June 27, 2017

Contact: Michael Crusan

Stearns County deer herd released from quarantine

Part of farmed deer and elk disease investigation

Two farmed deer in Stearns County tested negative for Chronic Wasting Disease. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health received the negative test results last week and has since released the herd from quarantine. The herd had been quarantined since the start of this year because it received four deer from a CWD infected herd in Crow Wing County. The Board shared the test results with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which responds to and manages CWD in wild deer. The Board works with the USDA as it investigates and regulates CWD in farmed deer.

This case is part of a disease investigation dating back to the end of 2016 when the Board discovered CWD in a Crow Wing County farmed deer herd. This led the Board to trace and test animals in five counties (Crow Wing, Meeker, St. Louis, Stearns, Wright) and quarantine those herds until all animals with ties to the Crow Wing County herd were tested.

Two deer herds and one farm property are currently quarantined as part of the Board’s investigation. The herd in Crow Wing County and one herd in Wright County remain quarantined. The Meeker County farm chose to euthanize all its animals and the empty property remains quarantined for five years.

“We’re working with the USDA and the two remaining herd owners as we develop plans for testing and containment,” said Board Assistant Director, Dr. Linda Glaser. “The Board is committed to eradication of this disease.”

CWD is a disease of deer and elk caused by an abnormally shaped protein, a prion, which can damage brain and nerve tissue. There is no danger to other animal species. The disease is most likely transmitted when infected deer and elk shed prions in saliva, feces, urine, and other fluids or tissues. The disease is always fatal, and there are no known treatments or vaccines. CWD is not known to affect humans, though consuming infected meat is not advised.