American Cervid Alliance

Seale: More Rules Won't Solve CWD in Minnesota

February 3, 2017



La Crosse Tribune-Opinion
February 3, 2017


By Charly Seale, American Cervid Alliance

Jim Luoma’s tirade against deer farms falls flat when you consider how regulated these farms already are.

While Luoma falsely paints them as a risk for Chronic Wasting Disease, farms in Minnesota must be a part of a mandatory surveillance program to monitor for CWD. Any farm where CWD is found can have all of its animals wiped out.

Simply put, CWD is not something that any farmer wants to see any more than Luoma does. And farmers are already trying to keep the disease away.
Compare that to the unregulated spread of CWD by free-ranging deer. Minnesota authorities only test on average about 3,300 free-ranging deer every year for CWD. That’s less than 1 percent of the state deer population, estimated to be 1 million animals. Quite simply, no one can say for sure where CWD is and isn’t because there’s not enough testing for the disease occurring. Then, free-ranging deer can spread the disease to deer farms, where it is later found during the 100 percent mandatory testing.

More regulations on farms won’t solve the problem of CWD spreading in the wild. The state needs to start doing more testing to figure out where the disease is so that it can then develop a more accurate management plan.

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