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FW: Test of deer for disease sought - THNT 8/18

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  • Pat Scala
    With all of the screaming about how deer need to be killed because there are too many in NJ, they are importing more, for hunters.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18, 2003
      With all of the screaming about how deer need to be killed because there
      are
      too many in NJ, they are importing more, for hunters.

      http://www.thnt.com/thnt/story/0,21282,790634,00.html

      Test of deer for disease sought

      Published in the Home News Tribune 8/18/03
      THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

      TRENTON -- State wildlife officials are seeking a court order to test
      deer
      at a New Jersey hunting preserve for a fatal disease affecting wildlife
      in
      the western United States.
      The 20 white-tailed deer were shipped to New Jersey from Wisconsin,
      where
      chronic wasting disease is prevalent.
      The state Department of Environmental Protection already has quarantined
      two
      preserves -- Big Spring Whitetail Preserves in Sussex County, where the
      deer
      were shipped, and Mountain Trail Whitetails Bowhunting Preserve in
      Warren
      County, which later bought nine of the deer.
      Superior Court Judge Theodore Bozonelis on Sept. 16 will hear the DEP's
      request for free access to more than 100 dear and elk kept at Big
      Spring.
      The only way to test for the disease is by examining an animal's brain
      stem,
      so the DEP, in essence, is seeking to euthanize some of the animals at
      Big
      Spring.
      There is no evidence the deer are infected with the disease, but state
      officials said they are trying to be proactive in preventing the deadly
      wildlife disease from gaining a foothold on the East Coast via New
      Jersey.
      "Our primary concern is the potential introduction of chronic wasting
      disease into New Jersey's cervid population -- our deer and related
      species," DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell told The Star-Ledger of
      Newark.
      "This is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions among deer and
      elk
      in the West and Midwest."
      The DEP claims the January 2002 shipment was illegal and beyond the
      scope of
      a permit under which preserve owner Petar Bubalo operates.
      Wisconsin is one of 12 states hit hard by the highly contagious disease,
      which is similar to mad cow disease and attacks the animal's central
      nervous
      system.
      Deputy Attorney General Ronald Heksch argues that because the imported
      deer
      already have roamed freely with deer and elk already on the property,
      the
      DEP needs to test members of the herd.
      The DEP also wants to force Bubalo to erect a secondary fence around the
      gated property to keep Big Spring animals from interacting with animals
      in
      the wild.
      "We need to act within reason and not panic," said Evan Nappen, a lawyer
      for
      Bubalo. "There is nothing indicating these deer were infected at the
      Wisconsin preserve where they came from."
      The judge said he will decide the fencing issue this week.
      The DEP accidentally discovered the deer shipment while talking with
      Wisconsin wildlife officials last month.
      Wisconsin discovered it had some infected animals in the state in
      February
      2002, a month after the shipment to New Jersey. Two months later, New
      Jersey
      imposed a ban on imported deer and elk.
      The DEP claims that if Big Spring went through proper channels to import
      deer, it would have taken at least 90 days to process the permits, and
      that
      would have been long enough for the state to find out that chronic
      wasting
      disease had been detected in Wisconsin.

      C copyright 2003 Gannett News Service

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