*This story originally appeared in The Budget’s Feb. 28, 2018 Local Edition
By Beverly Keller
The Ohio Department of Agriculture ordered the depopulation of Walnut Hollow Whitetails, located in Eastern Holmes County, by March 2018 after a buck born and raised on the farm was found to have Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
Last month, a 3.5-year-old buck born and raised in the facility was found to have the disease after it was sold and transferred to and ultimately harvested at Dakota Outfitters in Guernsey County.
“We were able to get the paperwork and people in place to do it as soon as possible,” explained Mark Bruce, Ohio Department of Agriculture’s director of communications.
All deer at Walnut Hollow Whitetails, 93 total, were dispatched with the use of captive bolts. The farm will be put on a five-year quarantine program and will not be allowed to keep deer, elk or cows on the land where deer were raised. All animals were tested for CWD and samples were sent to the National Veterinary Services Lab in Iowa.
It was noted that the Ohio Department of Agriculture will continue to work with the farm, as fences must be kept intact to be sure wild deer do not have access to the area. A Federal Indemnity program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will reimburse Walnut Hollow Whitetails for the loss of the herd. An exact amount is not yet known.