Ohio’s second captive deer tests positive for wasting disease


MILLERSBURG, Ohio — A second deer from an Ohio hunting preserve has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture, which administers part of the state’s captive whitetail deer licensing program, said April 1 that the deer came from a breeding farm owned by Dan Yoder, owner of the Holmes County preserve known as World Class Whitetails of Ohio.

Under quarantine

All three of Yoder’s facilities have been under quarantine since last June, according to Erica Hawkins, communications director for the ag department.

Samples of deer are required to be submitted to the state for testing, regardless of how the deer dies.

The main preserve had been under quarantine since April 24, because of a “known connection” to a captive deer operation in Pennsylvania, that tested positive for CWD. The first positive case at the Ohio herd was detected in October.

In November, the ODA ruled that all of the deer in question be depopulated, or euthanized, because ODA found the farm to be violating the quarantine by moving deer inappropriately, and because of record keeping issues.

As testing continues, Hawkins said “it wouldn’t be surprising if we found more” cases.

Wild deer

However, she said it’s unlikely the wild deer herd has been affected. She said the captive deer have been kept inside their fences, and that additional testing of wild deer by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has not produced any positive cases.

“We really don’t have anything to believe there was any exposure risk,” she said.

World Class Whitetails is located near Millersburg. The owner could not be reached for comment, and their website is offline.


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