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Minnesota stops the importation and movement of white-tailed deer as fatal prion disease spreads 

Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources has temporarily stopped the importation and movement of farmed white-tail deer into and within the state as a fatal prion disease spreads across the country.

The decree, issued late Monday, is being done in hopes of slowing down the disease, known as Chronic wasting disease (CWD), which can affect this species of deer (and others), as well as other mammals, such as moose and elk.

The decision was made after it was reported there was a recent CWD outbreak at a Wisconsin deer farm that sold deer to seven states, including Minnesota, during the summer. 

It results in the animals being confused, drooling and becoming uncoordinated, as well as losing their fear around humans.

 

Minnesota has temporarily stopped the importation and movement of farmed white-tail deer into and within the state as Chronic wasting disease spreads

‘This disease poses a clear, immediate and serious threat to Minnesota’s wild deer, and these actions reflect what’s at stake,’ said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen in a statement.

‘We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the continued risk of CWD transmission in Minnesota, including from farmed deer to Minnesota’s wild whitetails.’

CWD is believed to be spread by contaminated body fluids, but it can also spread from drinking water or food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

‘It is often difficult to diagnose a deer, elk, or moose with CWD based on these symptoms alone because many of CWD symptoms also occur with other diseases and malnutrition,’ the CDC added. 

‘CWD is always fatal.’ 

‘The temporary ban will allow [the agency] to determine the previous movements of known CWD-exposed deer and potential additional exposures,’ the agency wrote on Facebook.  

'The temporary ban will allow [the agency] to determine the previous movements of known CWD-exposed deer and potential additional exposures,' the agency wrote on Facebook

‘The temporary ban will allow [the agency] to determine the previous movements of known CWD-exposed deer and potential additional exposures,’ the agency wrote on Facebook

The prion disease is rare in both wild and farmed deer, but some experts fear it is an urgent threat, according to Gizmodo.  

Minnesota’s decision to stop the importation and movement of these deer stems from a recent CWD outbreak at a Wisconsin deer farm that sold deer to seven states, including Minnesota, over the summer.  

According to the USGS, there have been CWD cases in 23 states, two Canadian provinces and South Korea

According to the USGS, there have been CWD cases in 23 states, two Canadian provinces and South Korea

The U.S. Geological Survey has created a map showing where CWD has been found in the continental U.S., with it found in captive facilities in Wisconsin and in Minnesota.

According to the USGS, there have been CWD cases in 23 states, two Canadian provinces and South Korea.

The disease is not known to infect livestock or humans, however. 

As with other prion diseases, CWD could have an incubation period of more than a year and any neurological impairments could develop slowly.

The CDC notes that deer, elk, reindeer, sika and moose with CWD have been known to not show any signs for ‘years after they become infected.’

CWD, which is always fatal, is believed to be spread by contaminated body fluids, drinking water or food. The disease is not known to infect livestock or humans

CWD, which is always fatal, is believed to be spread by contaminated body fluids, drinking water or food. The disease is not known to infect livestock or humans

However, as the disease progresses, they increasingly show signs, including drastic weight loss, drooping ears, excessive thirst or urination.

Other symptoms include the aforementioned lack of coordination, lack of fear of people, drooling and listlessness.

Prion diseases are caused by proteins that somehow turn into a dangerous version of itself.

After the misfolded protein finds another normal protein, both of them become prions that can destroy the body, usually the brain.

According to Johns Hopkins University, all prions – in both humans and animals – are fatal, though they can be treated with certain medicines to slow their progress. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk