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Merrifield deer farm, euthanized animals: the herd will be tested for CWD

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced on Wednesday, April 17, the "depopulation" of trophy Woods Ranch trophy deer, which was first recognized as infected in 2016 and has since registered many positive tests. The board coordinates with the US Department of Agriculture to collect tissue samples from the herd for CWD screening and indicates in a press release that results will be reported as soon as they are available .

"We expect to receive the results of the MDC tests from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in the coming weeks," said Dr. Linda Glaser, Assistant Director of the Animal Health Council. "We have already developed a herd plan with the owner on how to manage the property now that the deer have disappeared.At this point, no positive CWD result changes anything to our response to the disease because we already know that the site is well run and treated like such. "

MDC is a disease of the deer and elk family caused by an abnormally shaped protein called a prion, which can damage the brain and nerve tissue. The disease is probably transmitted when infected deer and elk excrete prions in saliva, stool, urine and other fluids or tissues. MDC is not known to occur naturally in other animals. The disease is fatal in deer and elk, and there is no known treatment or vaccine. Consuming infected meat is not advisable.

This Crow Wing County deer herd was the only state farm to track the MDC as part of a herd plan with live animals. From this depopulation, all deer farms with a positive DPC in the state are empty.

After depopulation, the sites are managed in accordance with the USDA approved flock management plan and the Board of Animal Health. The council continues mandatory monitoring of CWD in all other herds of deer and elk and has reported no positive detection of CWD by Wednesday.

The USDA provides the owner Kevin Schmidt with an allowance for animals as part of his disease control efforts. Schmidt could not be reached for a comment on Wednesday night.

A 2014 bill authorized the USDA Farm Service Agency's livestock compensation program, which provides livestock owners with cash benefits for livestock deaths exceeding the normal mortality rate due to certain adverse weather conditions, illnesses or attacks. Payments are based on national payment rates equal to 75% of the market value of livestock.

To qualify, a livestock owner must have legally owned the livestock on the day the animals died or were injured by an eligible loss condition, and the livestock must have been commercially maintained as part of a farm operation. .

CWD in Crow Wing County

The discovery in January of a CWD infected wild deer carcass near Upper Mission Lake has raised controversy at the county level. This was the first case of a wild deer suffering from chronic debilitating disease in Crow Wing County and discovered near Trophy Woods Ranch.

The infected white-tailed deer, whose MDC was confirmed in February, has never been linked to the Merrifield Ranch, but has triggered community-wide meetings and actions on the part of the community. USDA and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

As of March 17, USDA wildlife disease specialists have visited the woods near the Mission Lake Wildlife Management Area, looking for deer to test the disease.

The 10-day surveillance and collection project covered a radius of 3 km around the area where the female was found in January. Of the 66 deer killed during the project, 55 tests returned negative and 11 were still pending in early April.

The Minnesota DNR has also provided owners of more than 10 acres of land with unlimited hunting licenses between March 2 and 24. Four owners slaughtered 14 deer, 10 of which were tested for CWD, the remaining four being on hold.

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