Minnesota DNR worries Chronic Wasting Disease spreading from Wisconsin

Minnesota DNR officials are worried that Wisconsin isn't doing enough to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease. Minnesota DNR officials are worried that Wisconsin isn't doing enough to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Created: December 01, 2019 09:23 PM

(KSTP) -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources spends millions of dollars to test and eradicate Chronic Wasting Disease among deer herds, but is concerned Wisconsin isn't doing enough to help in the fight.


And, the numbers seem to back that up.

Minnesota DNR records show, since 2010, there have been 60 confirmed CWD cases among the state's deer herds with the bulk of those in four southeast counties.

Wisconsin DNR records show there have been more than 5000 documented CWD cases and some of those are in counties that border Minnesota.

Barbara Keller with the Minnesota DNR says there is concern about the proliferation of CWD in Wisconsin and the agency is monitoring it.

"Unfortunately, it is a problem for Minnesota, because deer do not recognize boundaries," said Keller. "And, so it is very likely deer are crossing state boundaries and we have the disease at a very high prevalence rate in Wisconsin."

Wisconsin State Senator Patty Schactner, (D) Somerset, says Wisconsin "does have a serious problem" with CWD and she is sponsoring three bills in the 2020 Wisconsin Legislature to help with containing the disease.

"We need more science and more knowledge because that is power," said Schactner.  "My bills would focus on education, testing and prevention because we need to know more and we need to protect our cultural heritage and the tourism dollars that flow with deer hunting."

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