No chronic wasting disease was detected in more than 11,000 precautionary samples from deer that hunters harvested this fall in north-central, central and southeastern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“This is good news for Minnesota,” Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR, said in a statement. “The results lend confidence that the disease is not spread across the landscape.”
A total of 7,813 deer were tested in north-central Minnesota, 2,529 in central Minnesota and 1,149 in southeastern Minnesota.
Because no deer with CWD were found in north-central and central Minnesota, the DNR will narrow surveillance next fall to areas closer to the farms where CWD was detected. Precautionary testing in north-central and central Minnesota became necessary this fall after CWD was found in multiple captive deer on farms near Merrifield in Crow Wing County and Litchfield in Meeker County, DNR officials said.
Chronic wasting disease is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose. It causes degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death.