A deer harvested during hunting season in Minnesota has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday.
The deer was one of more than 1,400 samples collected from hunters during the fall. The DNR is still waiting for complete results but was able to confirm the case after samples from the suspect deer were sent for expedited testing, said Dr. Michelle Carstensen, DNR wildlife health program coordinator.
Carstensen said the deer that tested positive was a 3 ½-year old buck. It was killed within three miles of where previous bovine TB cases in deer have been found in northwestern Minnesota.
"This finding reinforces the need to remain focused on continuing efforts to accomplish the goal of completely eliminating the disease in Minnesota," Carstensen said in a statement.
There have now been 27 positive bovine TB cases in Minnesota deer since the disease was first found in the state in 2005. Despite the new case, DNR officials said it doesn't appear bovine TB is spreading much within the deer population.
The state Board of Animal Health has established an area in northwestern Minnesota that calls for more surveillance of cattle and deer for bovine TB. The last cows that tested positive for bovine TB were found in Beltrami County last December.
The DNR said surveillance efforts and sharpshooting for deer in a targeted area of northwestern Minnesota will continue in 2010. There will also be a special late-season deer hunt in part of northwestern Minnesota from Dec. 26 through Jan. 10.