Yet another Minnesota deer farm has turned up an animal that tested positive for chronic wasting disease, this one near Alexandria in Douglas County.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health on Tuesday, Dec. 10, reported that an 8-year-old white-tailed doe tested positive for chronic wasting disease after the deer had been killed by a buck on the farm. They were the only two deer on the small hobby farm.
State law requires that all deer farm animals be tested for CWD upon their death. The law also requires that the farm destroy the rest of the herd since the only way to test for CWD is if the animal is dead. Test results on the farm’s buck have not yet been disclosed.
The site is under quarantine. This is the first time CWD has been confirmed in Douglas County.
“We’re conducting a full and thorough investigation of herd history and animal movements to determine any likely routes of CWD transmission in the herd,” said Dr. Courtney Wheeler, board senior veterinarian. The Board is continuing its investigation with other state and federal agencies to detect and control CWD in the state.
CWD is an always fatal disease of the deer and elk family caused by abnormal prions, which can damage brain and nerve tissue. There are no known treatments or vaccines. While no human has ever been confirmed to have CWD, multiple health agencies warn against eating meat from infected animals.
Several deer and elk farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin have had animals test positive for CWD and Minnesota wildlife officials say three of the four CWD outbreaks among wild deer in the state are likely traced to infected deer farm animals.
Nearly 60 wild deer have tested positive for CWD in Minnesota with thousands of CWD-positive wild deer in Wisconsin.
There are 339 licensed deer farms in Minnesota and 360 in Wisconsin.