Undated (KROC News) - Some troubling news for Minnesota deer hunters.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says tests found two deer killed by hunters earlier this month in Fillmore County were infected with Chronic Wasting Disease.

The two bucks were killed about a mile apart five miles west of Lanesboro. The DNR says these are the only deer to test positive from 2,500 samples that were collected Nov. 5-13. Results are pending from nearly 400 other samples.

These are the first wild deer found to have CWD since a deer harvested in  2010 near Pine Island tested positive.The DNR began CWD testing in southeastern Minnesota again this fall in response to expanded infections in Wisconsin, Illinois, and northeast Iowa.

The DNR already has begun implementing the state’s CWD response plan.Three additional CWD testing stations were opened in Fillmore County last weekend and electronic registration was turned off in two additional deer permit areas.

Because much of southeastern Minnesota’s land is privately owned, the DNR will work with landowners when collecting additional samples to assess disease distribution and reduce the potential for CWD to spread. Sample collection could take the form of a late winter deer hunt, landowner shooting permits and sharpshooting in conjunction with cooperating landowners who provide permission.

CWD is a fatal brain disease to deer, elk and moose but is not known to affect human health.  Is transmitted primarily from animal-to-animal by infectious agents in feces, urine or saliva. The disease also can persist for a long time in the environment and may be contracted from contaminated soil. The movement of live animals is one of the greatest risk factors in spreading the disease to new areas.

For more information, including maps of CWD surveillance areas, frequently asked questions, hunter information and venison processing, visit the DNR’s CWD homepage.

Landowners, hunters and citizens can stay engaged and informed by visiting the CWD page and signing up to receive an email automatically when new information on CWD management becomes available.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is responding to help protect the state's farmed and wild deer populations. A disease control zone with a 10-mile radius will be established around where the two deer were found. Farmed deer and elk herd owners within this zone will not be allowed to move deer or elk into or out of the zone until an investigation has been completed and movement restrictions released. There are four deer or elk farms located within this CWD control zone.

Minnesota is home to more than 11,000 farmed deer or elk on 462 farms around the state. 

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