ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Wildlife managers have found two more deer suspected of being infected with chronic wasting disease near the southeastern Minnesota town of Preston, raising the number of confirmed and presumptive infected deer found in the area to five.
The does were killed within a mile of where the first two deer that tested positive were shot in November, marking the first appearance of the brain disease in wild deer in Minnesota since 2010. The Department of Natural Resources expects confirmation later this week.
The DNR will now consider having hunters kill even more deer than planned in the area to better assess the prevalence of the disease and prevent its spread. But wildlife research manager Lou Cornicelli says they won’t make any decisions until after a special hunt concludes Sunday.
The Minnesota DNR has put a ban in place, prohibiting the feeding of wild deer in five counties in southeastern Minnesota. They include Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted and Winona Counties. The ban makes it illegal to place or have food capable of attracting wild deer. That includes salt or mineral blocks and deer attractants.
DNR officials say the purpose of the ban is to reduce the potential for disease to spread from deer-to-deer by reducing the number of deer concentration sites.
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