ST. PAUL, MInn. (AP) — Testing of more than 350 deer has so far found no cases of chronic wasting disease in southeastern Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began the tests after a deer infected with the fatal brain disease was found near Pine Island last fall. Landowners and sharpshooters have been shooting the deer so officials can test the animals.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports that so far, the DNR has issued 320 deer-hunting special permits to landowners. The department plans to test 900 deer in a 10-square-mile area from Rochester to Wanamingo
DNR big-game coordinator Lou Cornicelli (korn-ih-SEL’-lee) says tests so far seem to indicate the disease hadn’t spread, but he says it’s too early to tell. With 900 samples, he says the agency can be 99 percent sure that the disease hasn’t infected other deer.
The disease is progressively fatal for deer, elk and moose, but there is no evidence it spreads to humans. There is no known vaccine or treatment.
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