Ohio wildlife officials are trying to keep a close eye on the growing number of deer farms and big-game hunting preserves around the state.

A major worry is that Chronic Wasting Disease, which is killing deer and elk in western states, could spread to Ohio with captive deer being shipped here. New big-game hunting preserves are opening around Ohio as other states, including neighboring Indiana, pass regulations to heavily regulate or ban them.

Without proper record keeping, said ODOW law enforcement supervisor Doug Miller, tracking disease in imported white-tailed deer could be nearly impossible. People holding a permit to raise wild animals in Ohio must stringently abide by the regulations or enforcement action will be taken, said Miller. Ohio has never had a deer test positive for CWD or bovine tuberculosis, another disease infecting wild deer.

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