Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Ohio orders all deer killed at game preserve

Reynoldsburg, Ohio — The state has ordered that all deer be killed at a private hunting preserve in Holmes County where chronic wasting disease was discovered earlier this fall.

In a letter dated Nov. 26, the Ohio Department of Agriculture informed Daniel Yoder, owner of World Class Whitetails of Ohio in Millersburg, that “all captive    deer … be destroyed by ODA after an appraisal of the whitetail deer has been completed.” 

World Class Whitetails was placed under quarantine by the ag department in April, the letter states, ahead of the CWD finding because it had taken in deer from Pennsylvania that may have been exposed to the disease.

“Due to the positive test of an animal (for CWD) … all whitetail deer present at the preserve have been exposed to a dangerously contagious and infectious disease and therefore endanger the health or well-being of animal populations in the state of Ohio,” the letter states.

The letter is signed by state veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey.

The Ohio ag department said Yoder violated the quarantine in effect at one of his breeding facilities known as Honey Run Farm in Millersburg. This facility, the department said, was placed under quarantine on Oct. 17, which prohibited any movement of deer on or off the premises without the consent of the agency. The facility has about 300 deer.

“Despite the quarantine, on Nov. 12 you introduced two deer on the quarantined premises without written consent of ODA,” the letter states.

The letter goes on to state that Yoder has “chronically violated record-keeping requirements” at farms he owns.

The depopulation of the hunting preserve is to be carried out by the Ohio ag department or its designee, the letter indicates.

“There shall be no hunting on the premises prior to the destruction of the whitetail deer on the premises,” the letter states.

Violation of this order is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, according to the letter.

If Yoder disagrees with the department’s findings, he can request a hearing before the state agency.

Yoder could not be reached for comment for this story.

Meanwhile, World Class Whitetails of Ohio remains under quarantine until it is lifted by the ag department.

As deer season continues until early February, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio ag department are urging deer hunters in Holmes County to assist in minimizing the risk of CWD.

Successful hunters in Holmes County are encouraged to have their deer processed at a facility in the county and to see that the carcass remains within the county, as well.

At this time, no cases of CWD have been discovered in Ohio’s wild deer herd, and hunters should continue to enjoy deer hunting this season, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said.

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