Test results following the late-January depopulation of a Houston County, Minn., white-tailed deer farm confirm nine additional cases of chronic wasting disease.
Results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the detection of CWD in five does and four bucks. The farm first detected CWD in a 2½-year-old white-tailed deer in October.
“This herd was in good standing in our farmed cervid program and was double-fenced since 2017,” says Linda Glaser, Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH) assistant director. “It’s an example of how elusive CWD can be to detect and control quickly before it infects multiple animals within a herd. Ten infected animals despite an owner following all regulations highlights why we need the research to catch up to the disease.”
Forty-six white-tailed deer were depopulated on Jan. 26, and all were sampled for CWD. The Houston County farm is not allowed to have any deer or elk for five years. Owners must maintain fencing to prevent wild deer from accessing empty pens. Biohazard signs will be posted on the fencing and must be maintained for the entire five-year fallow period.
CWD is a disease of the deer and elk family caused by prions, which can damage brain and nerve tissue. The disease is most likely transmitted when infected deer and elk shed prions in saliva, feces, urine and other fluids or tissues. CWD is not known to naturally occur in other animals. The disease is fatal in deer and elk, and there are no known treatments or vaccines. Consuming meat from a CWD-positive animal is not advised.