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Two Minnesota deer test positive for chronic wasting disease

ST. PAUL -- Two deer from this fall's hunt have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

ST. PAUL - Two deer from this fall’s hunt have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The deer, both male, were harvested near Lanesboro, in southeastern Minnesota’s Fillmore County, about one mile apart. One deer has been confirmed as CWD-positive, while the other is expected to be confirmed as positive later this week, according to the DNR.

The two are the only deer to test positive from nearly 2,500 samples collected in early November, a DNR press release said. Results of 373 additional samples are still pending.

“We were proactively looking for the disease, a proven strategy that allows us to manage CWD by finding it early, reacting quickly and aggressively to control it and hopefully eliminating its spread,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager.

Cornicelli said it is unclear how the deer contracted the disease.

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These are the first wild deer in Minnesota to test positive for CWD since fall 2010, when a deer near Pine Island tested positive.

CWD is a fatal brain disease to deer, elk and moose but is not known to affect human health. But with the muzzleloader and archery seasons stretching on into December, the DNR warned hunters to not shoot or handle any animal acting abnormally and minimize handling the brain and spinal tissue of harvested deer or elk.

Related Topics: HUNTING
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