Testing outcomes from Minnesota’s 2020 searching season and early 2021 particular hunts confirmed power losing illness in 22 wild deer, all inside present illness administration zones, based on the Minnesota Division of Pure Assets.
In whole, 7,682 samples had been examined from hunter-harvested deer or opportunistic samples (deer killed by autos, reported sick or discovered lifeless). Nineteen of the positives had been from deer within the southeast administration zone and three had been from the south metro administration zone.
CWD was not detected within the north-central illness administration zone, the southeast management zone, or the surveillance areas put in place for the 2020 searching season. The surveillance areas added in 2020 had been in east-central and west-central Minnesota, in addition to a south metro surveillance space that surrounds the south metro administration zone.
“Although CWD is detected in Minnesota’s wild deer, our current take a look at outcomes present that the illness prevalence stays comparatively low,” mentioned Erik Hildebrand, DNR wildlife well being specialist. “Maintaining deer wholesome is our precedence, and we proceed to take aggressive motion in areas the place the illness has been detected in wild deer and monitor for the illness in areas the place there are elevated dangers for CWD.”
Some take a look at outcomes from the yr’s administration actions and any deer reported sick or lifeless are nonetheless pending; outcomes might be up to date on the DNR’s CWD webpage as they turn out to be obtainable.
The DNR screens CWD by testing wild deer. When the illness is detected in both captive or wild deer, the DNR establishes surveillance areas and exams wild deer for not less than three years after the detection. It is because it might take 1 ½ to three years earlier than a deer reveals medical signs. If three consecutive years of take a look at outcomes fail to verify CWD, and an ample variety of deer are sampled, the DNR will finish surveillance in an space.
In fall 2020, the DNR shifted to voluntary self-service sampling to facilitate social-distancing measures at sampling stations through the COVID-19 pandemic. With the shift, the DNR set sampling objectives that may permit the company to confidently assess illness prevalence in an space. Whereas nearly all of areas acquired sufficient samples to fulfill sampling objectives, some surveillance areas didn’t.
The DNR will proceed sampling for illness in these areas to boost confidence about illness detection.
“We respect all those that participated in sampling this yr,” Hildebrand mentioned. “Every deer examined provides helpful info that contributes to our understanding of the illness’s prevalence and geographic distribution in our herd.”
The place CWD has been detected in wild deer, the DNR makes use of a three-pronged method to restrict the unfold of the illness and hold Minnesota’s wild deer inhabitants wholesome: lowering deer densities, proscribing deer feeding and attractants, and limiting deer carcass motion.
This yr, in areas the place CWD-positive deer had been detected, the DNR held two particular hunts after the firearms searching season and in addition offered landowners inside a 3-mile radius of constructive deer with taking pictures permits to additional scale back deer densities.
From February by means of March, the DNR will work with the U.S. Division of Agriculture-Wildlife Companies to finish focused culling in centered areas the place CWD has been detected in wild deer. Venison from these deer that don’t take a look at constructive for CWD might be donated by means of the Share the Harvest program.
Last CWD take a look at outcomes will affect how the DNR manages the illness going ahead and determines the 2021 searching laws, which might be launched in August.
Maintaining Minnesota’s wild deer inhabitants wholesome stays the purpose of the DNR’s response to CWD. Since CWD was first detected in Minnesota in 2002, the DNR has examined greater than 90,000 wild deer within the state. Thus far, 110 wild deer have examined constructive for CWD in Minnesota. CWD take a look at outcomes, together with places of confirmed constructive take a look at outcomes and statistics, can be found on the DNR web site at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.
As a part of its CWD response plan, the DNR screens and manages for CWD in illness administration zones round areas the place the illness has been detected in wild deer. The CWD administration zones are positioned within the southeast, north-central and south metro areas of Minnesota. The DNR screens for the illness in surveillance areas the place CWD has been present in captive deer farms or that are adjoining to different areas of recognized threat positioned within the east-central, west-central and south metro areas of Minnesota.
CWD is all the time deadly and impacts the deer household, which incorporates deer, elk and moose. There isn’t a vaccine or therapy for this illness.
For extra info on power losing illness, together with maps of CWD surveillance areas, often requested questions and hunter info, go to mndnr.gov/cwd.