Not feeding helps stop disease; mineral blocks included
Effective Monday, Aug. 28, a deer feeding ban goes into effect for all or portions of 11 Minnesota counties.
A ban remains in effect for the five southeastern Minnesota counties adjoining deer permit area 603, the only area in Minnesota where CWD is known to exist in wild deer.
The feeding ban in southeastern Minnesota also includes attractants such as cervid urine, blood, gland oil, feces or other bodily fluids. These products include such things as bottled estrus and mock scrape drips.
Southestern counties: Olmsted, Winona, Mower, Fillmore and Houston.
Central coutnies: Stearns, Kandiyohi, Wright, Meeker, McLeod and the portion of Renville County north of U.S. Highway 212.
North central counties: Crow Wing, Aitkin, Morrison, the portion of Cass County south of Minnesota highways 34 and 200 and the portion of Mille Lacs County north of County Road 11.
Wild deer in the central and north central Minnesota are not known to have CWD. The feeding ban as well as mandatory testing this fall are precautionary steps DNR took after captive deer infected with CWD were found on farms in Crow Wing and Meeker counties.
Feed is defined as salt, minerals, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay and other food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer.
Attractants banned in the southeast may be used in the other counties affected by the feeding ban.
Feeding bans encompass wider areas because the potential extent of a possible infection is not known and one of the most probable mechanisms for CWD spread among deer is over a food source that concentrates animals and allows close contact.
People who feed birds or small mammals must do so in a manner that precludes deer access or place the food at least six feet above ground level.
Food placed as a result of normal agricultural practices is generally exempted from the feeding ban. Cattle operators should take steps that minimize contact between deer and cattle.
Not feeding deer is a simple step that anyone can take to help prevent the spread of disease. Although well-intentioned, learn why feeding deer causes other problems, too.