For immediate release: Friday January 21, 2011
Contact: Malissa Fritz, BAH Communications Director, 651-201-6830
Board steps up requirements for farmed cervidae located near CWD-positive wild deer
Herds within a ten-mile radius of CWD positive deer will have movement restrictions
St. Paul, Minn - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that a wild white-tailed deer in Olmsted County tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease CWD). As a result of the DNR's finding, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health has established a 10-mile radius CWD-endemic area in southeastern Minnesota.
All captive deer and elk herds within the CWD-endemic area will have movement restrictions. Farms within this area must maintain their animals in such a way that ensures commingling of farmed and wild cervidae does not happen.
"We have been working alongside farmed deer and elk producers for years to develop a plan for this exact situation," said Minnesota Board of Animal Health Assistant Director Paul Anderson. "We will continue to work with them through this situation to ensure the safety of Minnesota's wild deer population and the viability of our farmed cervidae industry."
In 2003, Minnesota implemented mandatory registration and CWD surveillance programs for farmed cervidae herds. In addition, cervidae must be kept inside an eight-foot tall fence, complete annual inventories and inspections, and submit paperwork within 14 days of moving an animal. When farmed cervidae over 16 months of age die or are slaughtered, herd owners must submit brain samples for CWD testing.
CWD is a fatal brain and nervous system disease found in cervidae in certain parts of North America. The disease is caused by an abnormally shaped protein called a prion, which can damage brain and nerve tissue. Infected animals show progressive loss of body weight with accompanying behavioral changes. In later stages of the disease, infected animals become emaciated (thus "wasting" disease). Other signs include staggering, consuming large amounts of water, excessive urination, and drooling.
According to state health officials and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans.
As the official animal disease control and eradication agency of the State of Minnesota, the Board was created over 100 years ago to safeguard the health of the state's domestic animals. In carrying out its mission, the Board is a part of a network of state agencies protecting public health and providing an abundant, wholesome food supply to Minnesota consumers.
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