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Crow Wing County Landfill accepts deer carcasses to prevent CWD

County officials are encouraging residents and visitors during the hunting season to bring deer carcasses to the county landfill to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease, or CWD.

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Crow Wing County Environmental Services Supervisor Ryan Simonson (left) and Fred Doran, an engineer working with Crow Wing County, walk around the large bin Friday, Oct. 4, where deer carcasses can be dropped off at the Crow Wing County Landfill during hunting season. The remains will be incinerated in an attempt to stave off further cases of chronic wasting disease. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Crow Wing County is accepting deer carcasses free of charge for a third consecutive year at the county landfill on Highway 210 east of Brainerd to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease. There has been one confirmed case of the disease in the wild deer population in the county.

The neurological disease affects the cervid family — deer, elk, moose, reindeer and caribou — and causes degeneration in the brain of an infected animal, which culminates in its death.

The disease is spread when a cervid comes into contact with defective proteins from an infected animal, which are spread on the landscape through deposits of saliva or other bodily fluids, and the proteins are known to survive in the soil for several years and can infect another cervid.

“Please do not throw the carcass into your regular household garbage. Deer carcasses may be incinerated or placed in strategic locations within the landfill to minimize disposal risk, so it is very important that carcasses are brought in separately from other garbage,” Ryan Simonson, an environmental services supervisor, stated in a news release.

For more information about the disease and the landfill, hunters should visit the county’s website at https://bit.ly/3jHh3GN .

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