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DNR temporarily bans farmed deer movement into and within the state

The emergency action will provide time to understand connections between known CWD-positive farms and identify and prevent the transfer from potentially exposed herds

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued an emergency rule that temporarily prohibits the importation and movement of farmed white-tailed deer into and within Minnesota.

This emergency took effect on October 11 and aims to reduce the further spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and protect the health of Minnesota’s wild deer. The temporary ban will allow us to determine the previous movements of known CWD-exposed deer and potential additional exposures.

The DNR will work thoroughly but efficiently on this effort along with the Board of Animal Health, with which it shares concurrent authority to regulate farmed white-tailed deer. The DNR asks for the full support and cooperation of the farmed deer community.

The DNR is taking this action in response to the discovery that a CWD-positive farm in Wisconsin shipped 387 farmed white-tailed deer to farms in seven states, including Minnesota. Three farms in Minnesota ultimately received a total of five deer from the infected farm.

Two of those deer went to farms that no longer are in business, and the two animals subsequently were moved back to farms in Wisconsin.

The other three deer were moved to a farm in Minnesota that’s currently active. Two of those deer were killed and tested; they did not test positive for CWD. The third deer is still alive and the owner is awaiting payment prior to making the animal available for testing. The farm where this animal lives is currently under quarantine.

This temporary movement ban will provide time to track the movement of deer from the infected farm and understand the potential risk to other herds. The epidemiological investigations will show connections among known CWD-exposed herds, identify if there were additionally exposed herds, and prevent the additional transfer from potentially exposed herds. The rule provides exemptions for deer being transported to slaughter and those being transported on a direct route through the state.

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