Action Alert: Minnesota CWD Proposed Rule Changes

August 20, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is seeking public participation in its chronic wasting disease (CWD) rulemaking process. The Board is currently in the process of changing its rules for farmed cervids to help the agency better prevent and control diseases like CWD. A draft of these proposed changes is available online.

The Quality Deer Management Agency (QDMA) and the National Deer Alliance (NDA) encourage our members to participate in Minnesota’s CWD rulemaking process in multiple ways. First, the Board’s Farmed Cervidae Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday, August 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and the public is encouraged to join the virtual meeting. Meeting details, including how to join the meeting, can be viewed here. The final 15 minutes of the meeting will be open to public comment. Additional listening sessions will be available at various times and days through late August and September. These sessions are:

Second, written comments can be submitted to the Board through September 14. A second opportunity to comment will also be available after the Board publishes its Notice of Intent later this year.

The Committee’s role is to advise the Board as the agency writes changes to Minnesota Rules chapters 1721.0370 to 1721.0420 and the proposed rule changes are focused on addressing changes made by the Minnesota legislature in 2019 to Minnesota Statute §35.155. While Minnesota Rules chapters 1721.0370 - 1721.0420 and Minnesota Statute 35.155 contain language aimed at managing CWD, stronger and/or additional language can be added to those rules to further manage and slow the spread of CWD in farmed and wild cervids. Specifically, more strict language with respect to escaped farmed cervids procedures, farmed cervids identification requirements and cervid carcass transportation rules would serve to reduce the risk and speed at which CWD spreads in Minnesota.

QDMA and NDA support the Board’s inclusion of hunters and other stakeholders in the disease management process, and we urge our members to actively participate in Minnesota’s CWD rulemaking process. QDMA and NDA stand ready to help the Board, Minnesota hunters, and wild deer in this perilous fight against CWD, which is an unrelenting opponent.