Deer shot by sharpshooters in northwestern Minnesota have all tested negative for bovine tuberculosis, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday.
The 450 deer were shot as a part of the state's ongoing bovine TB surveillance effort aimed at keeping Minnesota's cattle disease free.
Since 2005, 27 deer have tested positive for the disease, including one in the fall of 2009. But the fact that deer shot after that case tested negative could mean the state is making progress in eradicating the disease, said Michelle Carstensen, DNR wildlife health program coordinator.
"The prevalence of the disease in wild deer continues to decrease and the geographic extent of the positive cases remains very small," Carstensen said in a news release.
This fall and winter, the DNR will sample 1,000 deer in northwestern Minnesota for bovine TB.