CWD Confirmed in Wild Deer in Grand Rapids
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in a wild white-tailed deer in the city of Grand Rapids.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officially received confirmation of CWD in the area on March 15. This now brings the number of areas in Minnesota that CWD has been found in either farmed or wild deer to eight total.
The DNR is currently updating its response plan to this recent discovery. This update will better reflect the statewide approach to disease surveillance, management, control, and education. Because this is the first time CWD has been detected in wild deer in this particular permit area, the DNR is taking action to understand the prevalence of the disease in deer in the Grand Rapids area.
Kelly Straka, DNR Wildlife Section Manager, said about the disease and its presence among the wild deer, “This new discovery doesn’t make CWD a statewide problem, but it does mean we need to take more of a statewide approach.” Straka says the department has always looked at CWD as something that could impact the entire state, not just where it is initially located and implement disease management actions as needed in the given area.
DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen commented on what she calls the “aggressive approach” the department takes to manage CWD in the state. “We will continue this strong approach as we address this latest finding and as we update our statewide CWD response plan. The health of Minnesota’s wild deer herd remains a top priority for the DNR.”
According to the DNR, the disease still remains rare in Minnesota, with fewer than 1% of deer having tested positive in areas where CWD is consistently present for the past five years. The most recent report initially came from a Grand Rapids resident who found a dead deer in their backyard in mid-February. Although the carcass showed no signs of the disease and reports said the deer died from a collision with a vehicle, final test results showed positive for CWD.
More information about chronic wasting disease and the Minnesota DNR’s efforts to combat it can be found at the department’s website.
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