Follow The Republic:
Indiana Department of Natural Resources wants hunters to be on the lookout for ear-tagged deer in Jackson County and neighboring Bartholomew, Jennings and Scott counties.
Hunters also are urged to harvest them, if possible.
Wildlife officials want to check the tags and test tissue from the deer out of concern about chronic wasting disease, department spokesman Phil Bloom said.
“We want to make sure deer that have tags are taken in, tested and determined if they’ve been exposed to this disease,” Bloom said. “It could have some far-reaching ramifications.”
So far the disease has never been found in Indiana, which has been testing for the disease since 2002.
The tags are expected to tell officials whether the animals have any possible connection with a captive facility in Pennsylvania where chronic wasting disease was confirmed in recent weeks, Bloom said. That report made Pennsylvania the 23rd state in which it has been found.
Hunters who take an ear-tagged deer in Jackson County or elsewhere in the state are asked to call conservation offices at 812-837-9536. Anyone who strikes and kills an ear-tagged deer with a vehicle is asked to call the same number.
The focus on the four-county area is a result of farm-raised deer that escaped from a captive cervid facility — or deer farm — whose owner is cooperating with the state, Bloom said. He was unsure how many deer escaped.
The location and ownership of the deer farm have not been released, based on guidelines of the Indiana State Animal Board of Health, Bloom said.
Such facilities can raise deer, elk and moose in Indiana for several reasons, Bloom said. The animals can be processed at a slaughterhouse and sold as meat, sold for pets or sold to high-fenced hunting reserves.
Of particular interest are any deer with a yellow ear tag bearing the prefix “IN 764” followed by another four numbers or any deer with a yellow ear tag and two numbers on it.
Natural Resources staff will assist in taking the deer carcass to Purdue University for testing at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
The state will replace the hunter’s license at no cost.
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!
Note: All comments left on our sites are first reviewed by an automated comment moderation system. Your comment may take up to 5 minutes to appear. If for any reason your comment can not be approved you will receive an email from this system with a detailed explanation.
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.