To combat chronic wasting disease and keep Minnesota’s wild deer healthy, the DNR has updated its surveillance and management plan for chronic wasting disease.

This plan, which we refer to as our CWD response plan, applies to free-ranging members of the deer family (cervids) in Minnesota. This plan addresses management of wild deer, rather than disease found in cervids raised or living on farms or in captivity, which are regulated by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

What the CWD response plan is:

The CWD response plan explains how the DNR views the threat of CWD to Minnesota’s wild white-tailed deer, moose and elk populations. It also provides goals and strategies for how to manage CWD with the primary goal of eliminating the disease when it is found.

The original plan was written by subject matter experts in the DNR’s wildlife health program in 2011. The current update was developed in 2018 and incorporates more recent research from the scientific literature; CWD plans from other U.S. states and Canadian provinces; and discussion with CWD experts around the country.

This updated version includes information specific to CWD infections that may persist on the landscape if the disease becomes endemic. It also discusses programmatic/regulatory alternatives that broaden the DNR’s disease management options.

What the CWD response plan is not:

The CWD response plan is not specific to southeastern Minnesota and applies to all wild members of the deer family (cervids) in Minnesota, which include white-tailed deer, moose and elk.

It is not a specific implementation plan; rather, it outlines a wide range of management possibilities applicable to addressing CWD in general. Currently, the DNR is responding to CWD risk in both wild (Crow Wing, Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties) and farmed (Crow Wing, Meeker and Winona counties) cervid situations.

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