USDA Wildlife Services does the actual killing because they have sharpshooters trained in this type of shooting.
They use .308-caliber rifles, shoot at close range (within 50 yards). Shoot animals in the neck and they die instantly. They use silencers (“sound suppressors” is their term) to avoid stirring up the animals.
Disposal costs: Wiebke $1,000 to pick up all the animals on both farms $1,800 a month to store carcasses $46/ton to haul carcasses to final disposal Midwest Cremation Service 85 cents/pound (all heads will be cremated, plus carcasses of any CWD-positive animals) Landfill About $50/ton (where presumably most carcasses will go)
Cleaning/disinfecting: Herd owner is responsible for doing and/or paying for first stage; we do and pay for second stage.
Burial of bedding, manure, etc. must be deep enough so that other animals cannot dig it up. No specified depth.
The owner must keep fences in good repair to keep wild cervids out of the property for the full exclusion time.
If the owner returns to keeping cervids, he will have to be in the monitoring program and will have to test all animals that die, regardless of age.
Hirschboeck is a breeder, selling directly to other farms, and is also a broker, a go-between for sellers and buyers.
Value of animals is determined by age and sex. Rather than individual appraisals, we have figures on fair market value of categories—adult, fawns, yearlings, buck or doe. We won’t know the ages and in the case of young animals, the sex, until they are dead and have been examined, so we can’t give a precise indemnity amount yet. We hope to have that figure by late today.
We did not announce the depop ahead of time. There was no danger to neighbors or passers-by on the road, so no need to warn them. Media could not be on the premises according to Wildlife Services policy and landowners’ legal rights to exclude them. We needed to keep animals as calm as possible to make the process humane, and drawing a crowd even on the roadside would have made that more difficult. We planned, and did, release the info as soon as possible after final work was finished Thursday a.m. – all samples were drawn Wednesday, but carcass pickup was Thursday.
What happens next? We will monitor and complete the cleaning and disinfection, may amend cervid exclusion requirements based on test results. Refer questions about continuing investigation to DNR. More detailed questions about the actual killing procedure or Wildlife Services should go to Dave Nelson, 608-837-2727. He is the head of WS in Wisconsin. He willl answer questions from print media, not TV.