ST PAUL, Minn. — Calling himself a "lifelong sportsman," Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is proposing a $4.57 million influx in funding to fight the growing problem of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Minnesota's deer herd.
The governor's proposal comes on the same day the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced it has discovered CWD in a wild deer in Crow Wing County. Previously the fatal neurological disease had only been found in deer that live in the far southeastern part of the state, predominantly in Fillmore County, with additional discoveries in Houston and Winona Counties in the past two months.
“As a lifelong sportsman, I know how urgent this issue is for Minnesotans,” said Walz in a released statement. “The Minnesota DNR is working hard to contain chronic wasting disease. This critical funding would help ensure they have the best tools and resources available to maintain deer health and management across the state.”
Along with the $4.57 million proposed over the next two fiscal years, Walz is calling for $1.1 million annually thereafter to enhance the DNR’s surveillance capabilities and rapid response to disease detection. Additionally, Walz's proposal includes $208,000 in 2020 and $529,000 starting in 2021 that would go to the Board of Animal Health to improve their monitoring and practices surrounding farmed deer and chronic wasting disease.
The Minnesota DNR will implement a swift response action plan with the goal of eliminating the disease from the areas where it has been found.