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DNR says chronic wasting disease could be in Houston County

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WXOW) – The Department of Natural Resources said chronic wasting disease has possibly spread to Houston County.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a wild deer harvested in Houston County this past November identified as presumptive positive for the disease.

It is the first report of the disease in Houston County since testing began in 2002.

The DNR said if the detection is confirmed positive, it will offer landowner shooting permits in the area around where the deer was harvested while they continue to collect samples from deer-vehicle collisions or archery harvest. Official confirmation will come later this week.

Special hunts will also be considered for January or February.

RELATED: MN DNR plans 2 December deer hunts to manage wasting disease

“While disappointing, this discovery is not unexpected given the proximity of this deer permit area to areas where CWD has been found,” said DNR Wildlife Research Manager Lou Cornicelli. “We’ll work closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on our detentions, so they can define their endemic areas.”

The DNR said the deer was harvested about nine miles from a Winona County deer farm where a deer tested positive for CWD in 2017.

Eleven other deer were taken from the same property. None tested positive for the disease.

The Board of Animal Health regulates captive deer and elk in the state. Endemic Areas are then created based on the location of wild detentions of CWD.

The board said they do this in efforts to detect and contain the disease.

Complete CWD test results from southeastern Minnesota are available on the DNR website at

More information for hunters about CWD can be found at

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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