Minnesota halts deer importation, movement within state

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota officials have blocked importation and movement of deer into and within the state to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease. The state Department of Natural Resources announced the move early Monday morning.

The decision comes after a CWD-positive game farm in Wisconsin shipped 387 farmed white-tailed deer to farms in seven states, including Minnesota. Three farms in Minnesota received a total of five deer from the infected farm.

According to the Minnesota DNR, the temporary ban will allow the DNR and the Board of Animal Health to determine the previous movements of known CWD-exposed deer and potential additional exposures.

“This disease poses a clear, immediate and serious threat to Minnesota’s wild deer, and these actions reflect what’s at stake,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said in a press release. “We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the continued risk of CWD transmission in Minnesota, including from farmed deer to Minnesota’s wild whitetails.”

According to the DNR, two of the deer from the CWD-positive game farm in Wisconsin, went to a farm that is no longer in business and were shipped back to Wisconsin farms. The other three deer went to an active Minnesota farm.

Two were killed and tested negative for CWD. The third is still alive and the owner is waiting for payment prior to killing the animal for testing. The DNR says The farm where this animal lives is currently under quarantine.