ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has released updated results on a Winona County deer farm where chronic wasting disease was discovered in November.

The board says in a release that the last seven remaining white-tailed deer harvested at the farm were found to have the disease. Samples from deer that the producer had moved from the farm to the Winona city park did show the disease.

The board is working with the owner to clean and decontaminate the enclosure that contained the deer.

The board says it is monitoring one other farmed deer herd in the state, in Crow Wing County. That herd is quarantined and being tested for the disease.

Chronic wasting disease is fatal to deer and elk, and there are no known treatments or vaccines.

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  1. This is an absurd statement: “The [Minnesota Board of Animal Health] is working with the owner to clean and decontaminate the enclosure that contained the deer.”

    The infectious agent is resistant to all known methods of decontamination short of high-temperature incineration. You cannot wash it off, you cannot bleach it out, it is unaffected by “normal” sterilization temperatures.

    If a human being who has been diagnosed with a prion disease is subjected to a surgical procedure, all surgical instruments involved are immediately destroyed, because of the fact there is no known way to decontaminate them.

    Prions are known to bind effectively to soil, and that they remain infectious for years, possibly decades.

    This kind of misinformation deals a terrible blow to those seeking rational public policy when it comes to CWD. Promoting false and irrational notions about this nightmare of a disease creates an obstacle to actually fighting it.

    Even the USDA guidelines on CWD decontamination says “None of the following cleaning and inactivation procedures guarantees elimination or inactivation of the infectious prion agent.”

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