SEVERE WX : Special Weather Statement View Alerts

Minnesota's deer disposal plan in jeopardy over CWD fears

Waste hauler will not handle possibly infected carcasses.

Posted: Oct 29, 2019 8:49 PM

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — A plan to dispose of deer carcasses during Minnesota's upcoming rifle hunting season is unraveling over a waste hauler's fears of spreading chronic wasting disease.

The state placed special dumpsters in parts of central and southeastern Minnesota where the fatal deer brain disease has been found. The plan was to use the containers to safely dispose of potentially infected deer carcasses.

But Waste Management will not accept deer carcasses infected with chronic wasting or that have the potential of being infected. With Minnesota's rifle season about to start, officials worry hunters will toss bones onto the land where the disease can spread to other deer.

Officials of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told state lawmakers Tuesday that Waste Management does not want to be held liable if the infectious material that causes chronic wasting spreads into the wild, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

"As of yesterday, they informed us that they would no longer be willing to handle this waste stream for us," DNR wildlife manager Bryan Lueth told a joint meeting of the Minnesota House and Senate Environment committees. "So we're pretty much left to scramble."

Waste Management spokeswoman Julie Ketchum told The Associated Press that the waste disposal company will handle any deer carcasses already in the dumpsters. But Waste Management is concerned about the prions, a misshaped protein that causes the disease in deer and elk and remains infectious in the environment for years, Ketchum said.

"We don't want to take on the risk to our business," Ketchum said. She also said the company's contract with the DNR only covers trash and recycling, and not transporting deer carcasses.

The DNR has had difficulty convincing landfills to take potentially infected deer, MPR reported.

Chronic wasting is still rare in Minnesota, but its potential spread is a worry for state conservation officials who oversee Minnesota's $1 billion annual deer-hunting industry.

The incurable disease was first confirmed in the state in a captive elk farm in Aitkin County in east-central Minnesota in 2002 and later detected among wild deer in a hot zone in southeastern Minnesota in 2016.

While there currently is no known crossover of the disease to humans, experts worry it could eventually jump species and find its way to humans.

Six deer dumpsters are scattered around the infection zone in southeastern Minnesota. Most of the deer dumpsters in the more recent Crow Wing County CWD zone are closed, according to the DNR website.

Deer shot in Crow Wing County can still be brought directly to the county landfill. But the deer dumpster program will be hobbled if the DNR can't find another hauler.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 554536

Reported Deaths: 7083
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1155051679
Ramsey47786853
Dakota42410422
Anoka38477415
Washington24913273
Stearns20994218
St. Louis16774297
Scott15946117
Wright14764127
Olmsted1273297
Sherburne1060080
Carver980145
Clay781289
Rice7632101
Blue Earth695840
Kandiyohi627380
Crow Wing615086
Chisago548250
Otter Tail542673
Benton530597
Mower450532
Goodhue442471
Douglas441870
Winona438149
Nobles400248
Morrison394659
McLeod394355
Isanti375159
Beltrami372257
Itasca370752
Polk365367
Steele361914
Becker353948
Lyon347848
Carlton329352
Freeborn326829
Pine311821
Nicollet306542
Brown294439
Mille Lacs281250
Le Sueur269722
Todd268730
Cass249626
Meeker235937
Waseca231221
Martin212529
Wabasha19953
Roseau197318
Renville172043
Hubbard171841
Dodge17123
Redwood166435
Houston162614
Cottonwood156821
Fillmore15169
Pennington150619
Chippewa145836
Wadena144021
Faribault143419
Sibley135710
Kanabec130621
Aitkin128636
Watonwan12549
Rock122719
Jackson117310
Yellow Medicine110419
Pipestone109725
Murray10229
Pope10226
Swift99518
Marshall85617
Stevens82010
Lake78419
Clearwater77414
Koochiching76913
Wilkin76812
Lac qui Parle73522
Big Stone5644
Lincoln5592
Grant5478
Norman5229
Mahnomen5048
Unassigned49578
Kittson46622
Red Lake3877
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods3053
Cook1450

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 357796

Reported Deaths: 5821
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55970604
Linn20297330
Scott19082234
Black Hawk15550306
Woodbury14897221
Johnson1404281
Dubuque13153202
Dallas1089196
Pottawattamie10747162
Story1031147
Warren555186
Clinton537390
Cerro Gordo521986
Webster508291
Sioux506073
Marshall477174
Muscatine459896
Des Moines441465
Wapello4253120
Buena Vista421740
Jasper407670
Plymouth397079
Lee368155
Marion354575
Jones293055
Henry286137
Bremer279260
Carroll279151
Crawford262040
Boone258533
Benton250355
Washington249550
Dickinson242043
Mahaska224850
Jackson217942
Kossuth212663
Clay211025
Tama206671
Delaware202839
Winneshiek194433
Page190321
Buchanan188831
Cedar183823
Fayette182941
Wright180435
Hardin179942
Hamilton178049
Harrison176373
Clayton167055
Butler162534
Mills158620
Cherokee157138
Floyd155342
Lyon154741
Madison153919
Poweshiek152733
Allamakee149051
Iowa145524
Hancock143534
Winnebago136031
Grundy135232
Cass134354
Calhoun133211
Jefferson130635
Emmet128840
Shelby128337
Sac127219
Louisa126849
Appanoose126747
Mitchell125241
Union124032
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie117929
Franklin112721
Palo Alto110922
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10030
Clarke98223
Keokuk94530
Monroe94128
Ida89633
Adair84532
Pocahontas83621
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75516
Lucas74923
Worth7078
Taylor65212
Fremont6139
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4949
Adams3284
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 46°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 47°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 46°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 46°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Pleasant conditions for the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's Saturday Night Forecast

Image

April Tool's Day

Image

Byron baseball starts season strong

Image

Hayfield BB PKG

Image

Minnesota DNR offering virtual firearm safety classes for youth

Image

Aaron's Saturday Forecast (4/17/21)

Image

North Broadway Avenue project begins Monday

Image

Aaron's Evening Forecast (4/16/21)

Image

Mom hosting Prom

Image

Vaccines for manufacturing

Community Events