Deer from farm with wasting disease wind up in Minnesota

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

ST. PAUL — State wildlife officials say two Minnesota farms received deer from a Wisconsin farm where chronic wasting disease was detected last month.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday that the news was “extremely concerning” and the agency is “actively considering management responses” to the threat facing the state’s wild deer population.

A recent report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said that the Wisconsin deer farm where the disease was detected sold nearly 400 deer to 40 farms across seven states in the past five years. Two of those farms were in Minnesota.

One was at a now-defunct farm in Stillwater, which received two deer in 2016. Those deer were eventually transferred back to Wisconsin in 2019. Investigators are working to determine if those deer are still alive and have been tested.

The other Minnesota farm to receive deer from the contaminated farm was in Clear Lake. Officials said the farm received three deer in 2017, two of which were killed earlier this year. The disease was not detected in them. The third deer is still alive and the owner is awaiting payment prior to making the animal available for testing.

The Clear Lake farm’s entire herd is under quarantine.