1/14/2013 5:16:00 PM DNR reminds four-county residents of deer feeding ban
Feeding deer is prohibited in four counties of southeastern Minnesota.
In Dodge, Goodhue, Olmsted, and Wabasha counties it is illegal to put out food that may attract white-tailed deer, said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The ban was put in place early in 2011 to reduce the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which was found in one deer harvested late in 2010 near Pine Island. Extensive sampling since then has found no other deer in the area with CWD.
CWD is a fatal brain disease of deer, elk, and moose. Though it is not known exactly how CWD is transmitted, it is thought to be primarily passed from animal to animal by infectious agents in feces, urine or saliva. Concentrating deer around feed has the potential to spread the disease to healthy animals. By prohibiting feeding, deer will be more dispersed and the opportunity for disease transmission is reduced.
People who feed birds or small mammals in the four counties should do so in a manner that precludes access by deer, such as by placing the food at least six feet above ground level. Food placed as a result of normal agricultural practices is generally exempted from this rule; however, livestock owners are advised to take steps that minimize deer access to forage.