Chronic Wasting Disease Testing to End in Central Surveillance Zone

Chronic Wasting Disease Testing to End in Central Surveillance Zone Click to Enlarge Photo: MN DNR

(KNSI) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says there will be no testing for Chronic Wasting Disease in the central surveillance zone for the upcoming hunting season.

Officials say because CWD has not been found in any deer tested in the area since 2017, they will not do any surveillance for 2020.

The central surveillance area includes portions of Meeker, Wright, McLeod, and Carver Counties.

The biggest area of concern for CWD is still in southeastern Minnesota, where 23 cases of chronic wasting disease were discovered during the 2019 hunting season, and an additional three cases were discovered during a special hunt in January of 2019.

This was the third year for sampling in the popular north-central management zone, which includes the Brainerd/Baxter area, since the discovery of a CWD infected deer farm there.

More than 8,000 wild deer were tested during falls 2017 and 2018 without any detection of CWD; however, one CWD-positive deer was found dead near the infected farm in January 2019, which sparked more aggressive control strategies.

The management zone, deer permit area 604, will remain in place for at least two more years to see if CWD is found in other wild deer in the area.

In February, the DNR will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services to complete targeted culling in localized areas in the southeast where CWD has been detected in wild deer. Reducing deer densities in these areas reduces the risk of the disease spreading.

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