Minnesota Red Deer Herd Depopulated; No New CWD Positives Found
September 12, 2014
In August 2014, the Minnesota red deer herd known as North Oaks Farm LLC was depopulated after the discovery of a CWD positive red deer hind more than two years ago. This farm was home to more than 500 red deer.
One CWD positive hind was found in the herd in May 2012. The herd was immediately quarantined. The owners voluntarily euthanized all the other deer that shared the pen with the hind. No new positives were found. There was no state or federal indemnity available at that time to depopulate the herd. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health, the United States Department of Agriculture and the state of Illinois allowed the herd owners to move a portion of the red deer herd to a slaughter facility and be tested for CWD. Again, no new positives were found. Finally, when Congress reinstated a portion of the federal CWD indemnity funds in 2014, a herd plan and depopulation order was signed.
According to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, the United States Department of Agriculture did not allow any research testing in addition to the normal CWD test to be completed during the final depopulation of the CWD exposed herd. This caused great displeasure in the cervid industry, as research testing was allowed in recent cervid herd depopulations in Pennsylvania and Iowa.
After the final depopulation, the final results showed no additional CWD positives. This ending shows Minnesota’s largest red deer farm, home to 500 red deer where one CWD positive animal was found in 2012, had no other findings.