Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Petersburg (R)

Back to profile


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

ST. PAUL – For the first time in six years, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been discovered in a wild deer in Minnesota.


Recently the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced it had discovered CWD in two deer that were harvested in southeastern Minnesota – specifically in Fillmore County. CWD is a fatal brain disease to deer, elk and moose but is not known to affect human health.


“I think it’s important for hunters to be aware that CWD has been found in southeastern Minnesota, and keep that in mind as they field dress their deer,” said State Representative John Petersburg (R-Waseca).


The CWD discovery was made during the second deer hunting firearms season between November 19 - 21. As deer season has not yet ended for archers or those using muzzleloaders, the DNR recommends taking these precautions when harvesting deer:


  • Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that is acting abnormally or appears to be sick.
  • Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing your deer.
  • Bone out the meat from your animal. Don’t saw through bone, and avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
  • Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
  • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes.


For more information, Petersburg said you should visit the DNR’s CWD homepage at From there, you can sign up for email updates when new information on CWD becomes available.