Two deer on a central Minnesota deer farm tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
The two-year-old does were slaughtered last week near Merrifield in Crow Wing County. The animals looked healthy but routine tests showed they were infected, said Dr. Paul Anderson, assistant director at the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
"We've quarantined the herd," he said. "The most important thing is to make sure no animals can get out, or in to that area. It is contagious."
The herd of 33 mule deer and 100 white-tailed deer could be euthanized, Anderson said, then tested for the disease. They could also be monitored and tested over time, which would not require a mass culling.
Chronic wasting disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose but is not known to affect human health.
Another special two week hunt begins Saturday in permit area 603, where those three infected deer were found. The DNR is trying to deplete the deer population in that zone to try to stop any spread of the brain disease.
At this point, Anderson said, there doesn't seem to be any connection between the deer farm cases in central Minnesota, and the infected wild deer in the southeast.