Home Consumer resources Maple Hill Farms has sold at least 387 deer to 40 facilities in seven states

Maple Hill Farms has sold at least 387 deer to 40 facilities in seven states



Although the chronic wasting disease has been found in about 30 Wisconsin deer farms since 2002, each new detection still attracts attention.

But the Aug. 11 announcement that the deadly deer disease was discovered at a facility in Taylor County did more than create news.

The detection at Maple Hill Farms near Gilman, which has sent hundreds of deer to 40 facilities in seven states over the past five years, has sent shockwaves through the deer farming industry and agencies agricultural.

Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection and the United States Department of Agriculture are sorting through years of records and tracing hundreds of animals sent to and from the installation.

Maple Hill Farms has shipped 387 deer to other facilities since July 2016, according to DATCP records.

Sales were made to deer farms in 18 counties in Wisconsin as well as interstate agreements with deer captive facilities in Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma and the United States. Pennsylvania.

According to industry officials, this is one of the most extensive, if not the most extensive, of deer shipments originating from a positive facility at the CWD.

Concern in the industry escalated when two deer shipped from Maple Hills tested positive for CWD at the facilities that received them.

These two companies, Main Farms in Appleton and Van Ooyen Whitetails in Antigo, have been quarantined by the DATCP. Positive results for MDC were released on August 26 and August 11, respectively.

Findings of the disease triggered new baiting and feeding bans in Taylor and Outagamy counties this fall, affecting some hunters and wildlife watchers.

Maple Hills is also in quarantine, which means it cannot ship or receive animals.

Some facilities that received deer from Maple Hills killed the animals to be removed from quarantine, assuming the tests came back negative.

In total, five Wisconsin deer herds that received deer from Maple Hills are already in quarantine, said Kevin Hoffman, DATCP’s public information officer. Investigations into unregistered herds that have received animals are ongoing and will result in additional quarantines, he said.

The discovery of cervid encephalopathy on a deer farm may signal the end of the line for the business, as in many cases they are depopulated by state or federal authorities.

Maple Hills had been a closed herd since 2015 and had done everything possible to keep MDC out, owner Laurie Seale said. In addition, the farm was attempting to cultivate a CWD resistant herd through selective breeding.

The last animal he bought was from a herd in Pennsylvania free of MDC, Seale said.

The CWD-positive animal was a 6-year-old doe born in Maple Hills, Seale said. At least one of his fawns has also tested positive.

“It’s a death sentence for us,” Seale said. “My 32-year-old farm will be finished with just one test. That’s why we’ve done everything possible to keep her out.”

Maple Hills holds more than 300 deer in pens on 22 acres, according to Seale.

Seale said she had no idea how the disease could have entered Maple Hills, which is surrounded by a double fence. But she said an unusual thing she had done this year was to buy hay from North Dakota. She normally buys food only locally.

There is no evidence that the disease, caused by a prion or malformed protein, can be contracted through food.

Looking for answers, authorities are conducting an epidemiological investigation into the facility, Hoffman said.

The work includes confirmation of movement and test records for trace herds; investigate management practices and positive herd records; receive epidemiological data from host states; and wait for the test results of the dead deer in the positive herd.

Hoffman said it was difficult to say how long the epidemiological investigation would last and that it would depend on factors such as reviewing farm records and coordinating with DATCP’s outside partners and the US Department of Agriculture.

The authorities will wait until the end of the investigation to decide on the future of the herd.

If Maple Hill Farms were depopulated, it would likely be the largest CWD-related herd withdrawal in state history.

State law allows a maximum payment of $ 1,500 per animal in such cases.

The largest depopulation of CWD-related deer farms in Wisconsin to date occurred in November 2015, when 228 deer were killed by DATCP at Fairchild Whitetails in southeast Eau Claire County. .

The state paid the owner of the farm $ 298,000 in compensation in this case. Thirty-four deer from the slaughtered herd tested positive for CWD.

Hunters, conservationists and officials in Bayfield, Douglas and Sawyer counties have been on high alert since deer farms in those counties, which have never had a case of CWD in a wild or captive deer. , received shipments from Maple Hills.

Each farm that has received deer from Maple Hills is assessed individually with an epidemiological investigation that will determine what action to take, according to the DATCP.

Ban on baiting and feeding the county of Outagamie: In response to the recent discovery of CWD at Main Farms, a deer farm in Appleton, the Department of Natural Resources enacted a ban on baiting and feeding deer in Outagamy County. The ban goes into effect Friday.

State law requires the DNR to ban deer baiting and feeding in counties when a farmed or wild animal tests positive for CWD or tuberculosis in the county where it is detected and in any county within 10 miles of the known location of the positive animal.

The discovery of CWD at Main Farms creates a three-year bait and feed ban in Outagamie County and a two-year bait and feed ban in Calumet County.

More information on baiting and feeding and CWD regulations in Wisconsin is available on the website MNR Bait and Feeding Regulations Web page.

Review of MDC response plan: The Natural Resources Department has scheduled a meeting for Friday to begin the second five-year review of its 2010-25 chronic wasting disease response plan.

MNR formed a committee of stakeholder organizations, tribal partners and other government organizations to conduct the work. The review is expected to take several meetings over the next few months.

The committee will develop and provide comments on the implementation of the plan and the actions to be considered, according to the MRN.

A panel of technical experts will attend the meetings to support the work of the committee. All meetings will be open to the public and recordings will be posted on the MNR website.

Following MDC information is available by visiting the DNR web page at dnr.wi.gov. Friday’s meeting will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on the MNR YouTube channel.

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