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Deer feeding, attractant bans expanded to help curb CWD

(Photo source: Pixabay)
(Photo source: Pixabay)(Pixabay)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2020 at 8:56 PM CDT
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(KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently announced that it has expanded the current deer feeding and attractant bans to include Rice, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington Counties beginning July 1.

In counties where deer feeding is banned, area residents will need to remove any grains, fruits, nuts and other food placed in ways that could entice deer. Residents who feed birds or small mammals also need to make sure that deer cannot access those foods. The DNR suggests that feed be kept at least six feet above ground level.

Normal agricultural, forest management or wildlife food-planting practices are still allowed.

“To prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease, it’s important to limit close contact among deer,” said Michelle Carstensen, DNR’s wildlife health program supervisor. “By keeping feed and attractants out of our backyards, Minnesotans can discourage the congregation of deer that spreads this deadly disease.”

In counties where there is a feeding and attractant ban, residents must also remove any liquid food scents, salt, minerals and other natural or manufactured products that attract deer.

Counties that have been placed under a deer feeding and attractant ban are outlined in the map below.

(Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)
(Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)(Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

The DNR will be removing Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Renville and Wright Counties from the feeding ban list because CWD has not been detected in any wild deer for the third consecutive year of wild deer disease testing in central Minnesota.

Chronic Wasting Disease is an always-fatal neurological disease that affects the cervid family, while includes deer, elk and moose.

The first case of CWD in Minnesota was recorded in a captive elk in 2002. Since then, the DNR has tested more than 90,000 wild deer. Currently, 88 wild deer have been confirmed as testing positive for CWD in Minnesota.

Visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ CWD website for more information and testing locations.

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