Chronic debilitating disease reported near Brainerd; Walz offers $ 4.6 million for a quick response

The announcement comes the same day that officials from the Department of Natural Resources announced they have identified a case of chronic debilitating disease in a wild deer in Crow Wing County. This is the first confirmed case outside of Southeast Minnesota.

A dead adult adult deer was found in Merrifield, north of Brainerd, in January and was tested for the deadly disease. Test results on Thursday, February 14 confirmed that the deer was positive for CWD.

"We take every discovery of the MOC very seriously," said Sarah Strommen, Commissioner of the DNR, in a statement. "We hope we have discovered the infection of Crow Wing County at an early stage and that we can respond quickly by taking steps to eliminate the disease in this region."

The DNR would receive $ 4.6 million to strengthen its CWD surveillance and early intervention efforts between this summer and 2021 as part of Walz's proposal. And the department would see reduced credits of $ 1.1 million a year after that period.

Walz's proposal would also provide an additional $ 208,000 to the Animal Health Directorate in 2020 and $ 529,000 starting in 2021. The additional funds would be used to improve the monitoring of deer.

"As a long-time sportsman, I know how urgent this issue is for Minnesotians," Walz said in a statement. "The Minnesota DNR is working hard to contain chronic wasting disease. This critical funding would help ensure that they have the best tools and resources available to maintain deer health and management in the state. "

At this stage, no test can detect a chronic debilitating disease in live deer. And there is no vaccine or antidote to get rid of it.

More than 30 cases of the disease have been confirmed in Minnesota. In Wisconsin, by comparison, thousands of cases have been reported. The disease affects deer, moose, caribou and elk and is always deadly.

"The recent discovery of a wild positive deer at the MDC in our region is disappointing to say the least," said state representative Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, in a statement. "However, if we act quickly and forcefully, I think we can eradicate the disease from this part of Minnesota."

Minnesota lawmakers have introduced various bills to limit the spread of the disease among the wild deer population of Minnesota. Among these are proposals to fund the creation of a device to test the presence of live deer on the disease and to impose a moratorium on new deer farms licensed in the state. .

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