MADISON–Another whitetail deer from a game farm and hunting preserve in Portage County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease causing the suspected herd from which the animal originated to be placed under quarantine.
A male whitetail deer shot in mid-September at the Buckhorn Flats Game Farm, Almond, tested positive for the fatal brain disease. The buck was tested because of the mandatory CWD testing rules put in place April 2002 for all farm-raised deer. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection requires that all deer and elk that die in captivity and are 16 months of age or older be sampled and tested for CWD.
A preliminary record check indicates that the positive deer was likely purchased in early September from Poff’s Wild Acres, Beloit. The department has placed that deer herd, owned by Richard Poff, under quarantine.
A quarantine means only that all live animal movement off the farm has to stop while investigators do their work. It does not mean that chronic wasting disease has been found on the property, state agricultural officials emphasize. Animal health investigators will check records to confirm the source herd of the positive deer.
The Portage County herd, owned by Stan Hall, has been quarantined by animal health officials since September 2002 when a buck that was shot on Hall’s hunting preserve tested positive for CWD. The state agriculture department has ordered that Mr. Hall’s herd be killed for testing but the depopulation order has been on hold as Mr. Hall appeals the decision. Since the quarantine was established last year, no deer have moved off the Almond farm to other herds but Mr. Hall has been able to continue with his hunting operation.