Chronic Wasting Disease

Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL) - International Falls District 3A joined us recently to talk about his concerns and his recent press release praising the DNR for their efforts concerning chronic wasting disease. 

 RELEASE: Rep. Ecklund thanks DNR for rapid response to address CWD following new discoveryMonday, December 23, 2019 

The DNR conducted surveillance around a CWD-positive captive deer facility near Merrifield starting in the 2017 hunting season.

In February 2019, the DNR confirmed chronic wasting disease in a wild deer found in Crow Wing County less than 1/2 a mile from the infected captive facility. Based on this discovery, the DNR designated a new CWD management zone, deer permit area 604, in north central Minnesota for the 2019 hunting season.

New cases of deer with Chronic Wasting Disease in southeast Minnesota, and the discovery of an infected deer in Crow Wing County in January has renewed the sense of urgency in containing the spread of the disease.  The Minnesota DNR and Board of Animal health have identified a relatively small numer of infected deer so far, compared to the more than 5,200 infected deer found in Wisconsin since 2002.

Last February, the MN Board of Animal Health and the MN DNR confirmed that Chronic Wasting Disease was the cause of the death of a deer that was recovered near a 112 acre deer farm near Merrifield in Crow Wing County.

There are about 390 captive deer and elk farms in MN.  In April, the deer in the farm near Merrifield was closed, all the deer were killed and are being tested for CWD.  In addition, about 80 deer were killed within a two mile radius of the farm and are also being tested.

Chronic Wasting Disease is moving closer to home - with a deer farm in Merrifield testing positive and closing, there's some reason to worry about the spread of the disease.  The University of Minnesota considers CWD a potential public health crisis.  What exactly is Chronic Wasting Disease?