Skip to main content

DNR bans movement of farmed deer to prevent further CWD spread

The temporary emergency action is in response to "concerning developments" after CWD was discovered in deer on a Beltrami County farm.

In an effort to stop the further spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in wild deer, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has issued a temporary ban on the movement of farmed deer in the state.  

The DNR issued the emergency rule on June 1 and it ends July 31. The exception to the movement ban is deer being transported to slaughter. 

Related [May 25] DNR: CWD-positive deer carcasses dumped outside of quarantine area

This emergency action is in response to "concerning developments" after CWD was discovered in white-tailed deer on a farm in Beltrami County. CWD was initially detected in the herd in April and after the herd was euthanized, officials last week confirmed 12 more deer had the deadly neurological disease. 

Last week, the DNR said deer remains from the Beltrami farm were found on nearby county-managed land (outside of the quarantine area) after reportedly being moved by the deer farm owner. At least one of the bones found indicated the presence of CWD-causing prions. It's unknown if the infected carcasses spread CWD to wild deer. 

The CWD cases at the Beltrami County farm can be linked to an infected deer from Winona County, which prompted the Beltrami farm to be quarantined last fall. The DNR says the Minnesota Board of Animal Health also identified movements of deer to the Beltrami farm from three other herds in Minnesota (these herds are considered trace herds — no deer were moved from the Beltrami farm to other herds).

Since May 20, the Board of Animal Health has quarantined nine other herds in eight counties because of possible CWD exposure. They're located in Crow Wing, Dakota, Hennepin, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower and Stearns. Meanwhile, the Winona County farm has been quarantined since October 2020. 

The DNR says this emergency rule will give it time to "examine and respond" to any connections between the Beltrami County farm and other farms that could have been exposed. The DNR issued a similar rule in 2019 after CWD was confirmed at a deer farm in Douglas County. 

“This is a serious disease that poses a growing threat to Minnesota’s wild deer, and our actions must reflect that,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said. “The DNR is committed to proactively addressing CWD and doing everything we can to protect Minnesota’s white-tailed deer as part of our natural heritage. 

"The CWD detections at the Beltrami County farm, its connections to other farms in the state and the additional contamination outside of the farm, pose a risk to wild deer that requires emergency action," Strommen added. 

The DNR is working with the Board of Animal Health to investigate the Beltrami County farm, and in an effort to reduce disease risk in the area it is coordinating with the county to build a fence where the deer remains were found to prevent wild deer from accessing prions from the farmed deer remains.

The department manages and monitors CWD in areas where the disease has been detected in both captive and wild deer. Those areas include southeastern Minnesota, the Twin Cities south metro area, and Crow Wing County, Douglas County and Pine County in central Minnesota.

Follow Bring Me The News on Facebook

CWD is found globally and in about half of the states in the United States, including Minnesota. It was first discovered in a captive animal in Minnesota in 2002 and a wild animal in 2010. 

The DNR says 115 wild deer have tested positive for CWD of the 90,000-plus that have been tested.

Although it's still relatively rare in Minnesota, it is a concern because there is no cure and it is fatal to deer, moose and elk, the DNR says.

The Board of Animal Health says the disease is caused by prions, which can damage brain and nerve tissue. It's most likely spread when an infected deer or elk shed prions in saliva, feces, urine or other fluids or tissues.

CWD is not known to naturally occur in other animals, although eating meat from a CWD-infected deer is not advised.

Test results, including locations of confirmed positive test results and statistics, are available here

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.04.40 PM

Ramen bar announced for upcoming Eat Street Crossing food hall

The restaurant roster is filling up at Eat Street Crossing.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.


Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.


Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.

10.6 Tempest Weather Thumbnail

Drought tightens grip as Twin Cities reaches 'extreme' level

By this time last year, drought was fading fast in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Woman missing since car crash has been found

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.



DNR bans movement of farmed deer into and within MN to prevent CWD

This comes after Minnesota deer farms imported five deer from an infected Wisconsin farm.


CWD-positive deer found on Beltrami County farm

The DNR will conduct surveillance in the area and a deer feeding ban will be in place.

white-tailed deer

DNR bans movement of farmed deer in bid to tackle CWD

The emergency rule is temporary, and goes into effect on Monday.


New CWD case suspected days before deer opener in Minnesota

The deer was harvested in northwestern Minnesota, outside the DNR's CWD zones.

doe, deer

9 more deer on Houston County farm test positive for CWD

The deer farm had a positive case of CWD back in October and was being depopulated.

FLickr - USFWS Midwest - white-tailed deer

CWD-positive farm in WI had shipped deer to 2 MN farms, DNR says

The Minnesota DNR's commissioner called the discovery "deeply concerning."


7 counties added to deer-feeding ban to prevent CWD spread

It brings the total to 31 of the 87 counties in Minnesota.

doe, deer

Deer on southeastern MN deer farm tests positive for CWD

Hunters are encouraged to drop off samples of the deer they kill to be tested for the deadly disease.