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Carlton County Board approves cervid farm moratorium

The one-year moratorium seeks to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease afflicting cervids, which includes white-tailed deer.

Youth deer season
The Carlton County Board of Commissioners approved a one-year moratorium on cervid farms, which includes white-tailed deer.
File / News Tribune
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CARLTON — A one-year moratorium on the creation and expansion of any new or existing cervid farms in Carlton County was approved unanimously by the board of commissioners during a meeting Tuesday, July 12.

A total of 106 residents signed a petition against Loving Earth Memorial Gardens, a new green cemetery located in Blackhoof Township.

The issue came to the board's attention on May 3, when Capt. Robert Gorecki, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources enforcement division regional manager in northeastern Minnesota, explained chronic wasting disease and how there is no cure for cervids that are affected by it.

The moratorium will prevent new deer or elk farms from being established in the county for a year as the effects of the disease are studied.

According to Greg Bernu, Carlton County land commissioner, there is only one cervid farm in the county.

The vote comes after the county held a public hearing and heard from interested parties on the issue June 27.


Those in favor of a moratorium hoped it could be used as a proactive way to protect wild deer in the county and get a handle on the disease.

Arguments against the moratorium referenced the low case numbers in the state and that a majority of the cases have been found in wild deer.

According to the Minnesota DNR, since 2002 there have been 153 positive cases found after testing 106,000 deer, with a majority of the cases occurring in the southeast region of the state.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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