Chronic wasting disease found in SE Minnesota deer

CWD Confirmed in Wabasha

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(ABC 6 News) – In early October, a deer harvested near Wabasha in southeastern Minnesota tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) placed deer permit area (DPA) 342 (the region where the hunter harvested the infected deer) under surveillance in 2022 after reports of CWD in bordering Buffalo County, Wis.

“This discovery in southeastern Minnesota, while unwelcome news, highlights the importance and necessity of our disease surveillance efforts,” said Erik Hildebrand, Minnesota DNR wildlife health supervisor. “We truly appreciate hunters’ help in combatting CWD by getting their deer tested for CWD when required and complying with carcass movement restrictions. Results of these efforts help limit disease spread and protect the health of Minnesota’s white-tailed deer.”

According to the Minnesota DNR, all hunters are required to have their deer tested for CWD during opening weekend of firearms season.

Following the CWD report, the DNR’s response plan involves three years of mandatory testing in DPA 342 and surrounding DPAs to “determine the potential prevalence of the disease.”

According to the DNR, much of southeastern Minnesota includes areas considered at risk for disease transmission.

According to the DNR, they have tested more than 130,000 deer since 2002, but as of Nov. 27, 2023, 236 deer have tested positive. Most cases occurred in southeastern Minnesota.

Complete CWD test results are available on the Minnesota DNR’s CWD test results webpage. Deer tested positive for CWD will be reported to that page.