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Ohio Kills Over 500 Captive Deer to Fight CWD

Over 500 deer were shot or euthanized at a hunting reserve in Ohio after some tested positive for CWD.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (DOA) recently killed more than 500 deer at World Class Whitetails of Ohio in Holmes County. This was due to concerns over the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease from captive deer that had tested positive for the disease.

The initial case of CWD was found in one deer at the hunting preserve, but two more deer from the breeder farms that supply the ranch have since tested positive, all of which are owned by Daniel Yoder.

“About 270 deer were euthanized last month at Yoder’s hunting preserve, but none tested positive for the disease. This is good for the area because it means the site is not contaminated, but it likely means the problem comes from Yoder’s breeding farm. Both of the locations are near Millersburg.,” said Erica Hawkins the state agricultural spokeswoman.

Another 240 deer were euthanized this week and more sample for CWD were being taken for further testing to prevent any more outbreaks.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal and contagious disease that as of now only effects deer and elk. It attacks the brain and causes deer to quickly dehydrate, lose weight, and act strangely.

According to reports, Ohio’s DOA placed a quarantine on Yoder’s preserve back in April of 2014, which prevented new deer from being added or any from leaving the property. His breeding farms were also placed under the same quarantine the following June.

This didn’t stop Yoder from continuing his business, as two recently shot deer from the farm were found outside the preserve. He also was found to be purposely smudging the numbers of his record book for when he added deer to his herds.

Yoder was arrested back in February of this year on two counts of tampering with evidence during an initial investigation on how his deer became contaminated with CWD and allowed it to spread. The charges were dropped in April pending an investigation from the Ohio DOA.

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Ohio Kills Over 500 Captive Deer to Fight CWD