Another deer with ties to CWD farm running loose
TribLIVE Sports Videos
First there was Pink 23. Now there's Purple 4.
Pink 23 is the name of a deer that escaped from the New Oxford, Adams County, farm where chronic wasting disease has been found in two whitetails. Officials had wanted to euthanize and test it, too. But it remains on the loose, and no one knows whether it's healthy or sick and spreading the disease.
Now there's potential that another deer might be doing the same.
Purple 4 is a deer — also tied to the New Oxford farm — that escaped from a facility in Alexandria, Huntingdon County. The owner of that farm recently posted a reward on message boards offering $200 to anyone who would shoot the deer and return the carcass, “no questions asked.”
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture deputy secretary Matthew Meals initially said, when asked little more than a week ago, that his agency had not been notified of the escape. He confirmed it this past week, though, at a public meeting. It, too, apparently remains free.
Meals did not return a phone call seeking comment this past week.
One thing is clear: The department of agriculture has no plans to buy the New Oxford facility where CWD was first discovered, department of agriculture spokeswoman Samantha Krepps said.
That's what Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources did with the first deer farm where CWD showed up in that state, department spokeswoman Laurel Steffes said. That's because the prions believed to carry CWD can survive for long periods of time in the soil. Wisconsin officials did not want the farm's fences coming down and wild deer roaming over the property and getting sick, Steffes said.
What to do with the farm now, 10 years after the disease was first found, is a question officials are trying to answer, she added.
“But at this point, our focus is still on the fences and keeping them in good shape,” Steffes said.
Complicating things is that the farm is not the only one where wasting disease has since been found.
Wisconsin has 532 cervid farms within its borders raising deer and elk, said Rachel Klein, spokeswoman for that state's department of agriculture. She could not say how many have had CWD-positive animals. But the number of farm deer with the disease has grown from one in 2002 to 99 as of this year, she said.
Steffes said the state simply doesn't have the money to buy every farm and protect wild deer.
Pennsylvania has more than 1,100 deer farms, Krepps said. As many as 150 are being investigated for possible ties to the Adams County farm with CWD.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5148.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fishing license fee decrease considered
- License fee decreases approved
- Studies detail buck behavior
- Outdoors notices: Sept. 28, 2014
- Outdoors notices: Sept. 29, 2014
- Frye: Bear attacks rare but increasing
- Outdoors notebook: Fall trout stocking program begins this week
- Game Commission to rework access permit idea
- Fishing report: Low water limiting fishing in spots
- Profits have illegal trafficking in fish, wildlife on the rise