The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday announced it is lifting its emergency action against deer farms that temporarily halted the movement of captive animals in the agency's fight against chronic wasting disease (CWD). The ban will be lifted Monday.
The DNR put the ban in place Oct. 11. Assistant DNR Commissioner Bob Meier said at the time that the ban against the movement of farmed deer could last as long as 15 months.
The DNR has investigated CWD's known spread in Minnesota and, along with Wisconsin and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, focused on a "CWD-positive" Wisconsin farm that shipped 387 farmed deer to farms in seven states, including five deer to three farms in Minnesota.
In a statement Thursday, the DNR said the investigation was limited by, among other things, a loss of records, the lack of testing in some other states and "the variability in the ways other jurisdictions monitor CWD in deer farms and in wild deer."
"This temporary ban gave the DNR time to do our due diligence and attempt to gather relevant information," agency Commissioner Sarah Strommen said in a news release. "It's deeply disappointing that there are gaps in data and that more information isn't available to help us better understand the movement of deer from the CWD-infected farm in Wisconsin."
The Minnesota Deer Farmers Association didn't respond to requests for comment.