Chronic Wasting Disease

Letters to the Editor — November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Feeding, baiting ban should be obeyed Dear Editor, I am surprised to note today that several gas station convenience stores (I found five within a five-mile radius of downtown Rockford) are selling large bags of shelled corn, corn on the cob, apples, carrots and beets. While no further cases have been made public by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a few stores appear to have chosen short-term gain over the potential devastating effect that an outbreak of CWD could have on the economy supported by deer hunting. It appears to be a severely short-sighted view that has significant implications for themselves and the community. I would hope the inconvenience of not hunting over a bait pile could be endured at least one more year and would be outweighed by the possible consequences of an outbreak of CWD. Many have argued that the feeding and baiting ban should be lifted, but again that is a short-sighted view if you look at the impact that CWD has had on deer herds in neighboring states. But that doesn’t matter. The law is the law and should be obeyed as well as the spirit of the law—2009 Michigan House Bill 4198 (Extend ban on deer feeding). If you do business at a store that is selling deer feed/bait, ask them why they are, since it is illegal to feed or bait deer in the Lower Peninsula. Tom Kuehl Pastor thanks Squire for generating new business Pastor thanks Squire for generating new business Dear Editor, On behalf of the Rockford United Methodist Church, I would like to thank The Rockford Squire for their excellent article on the history, making, baking and selling of the pasties that happen here at RUMC twice a year. Once again this November, almost 6,000 pasties were made, baked and sold, with lots of happy faces from the customers who got to enjoy them, and your article allowed some new faces to experience them as well. Thank you! In Christ’s service, Dick Riley Senior Pastor Editor’s note: The Squire was told that, as a direct result of the pre-pasty sale article, the pasties sold out in four days for the first time ever! Community comes through for those in […]

Men Charged in Smuggling Quarantined Deer Off Farm

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JUDY REED Pair planned to release animal into the wild The owners of a private deer farm in Algoma Township have been arrested and charged with violating the Chronic Wasting Disease quarantine order issued by the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) last summer. The MDA and Department fo Natural Resources (DNR) announced last August that a three-year-old white-tailed doe from a privately owned facility in Rockford had tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, a neurological brain and nervous system disease found in deer, elk and moose. It is the state’s first case. According to Mary Detloff, of the DNR, James and Brian Schuiteman, owners of J&B Whitetails, where the original deer was found, attempted to move a male deer from the facility on August 23, the day after the quarantine was issued. At approximately midnight, DNR Conservation Officers David Rodgers and Michael Mshar observed two people enter the quarantined facility with flashlights and a tranquilizer gun. The officers watched the men single out a specific deer and tranquilize it. They then loaded it into an enclosed trailer and towed it from the property, where officers conducted a traffic stop to detain the suspects. Officers determined a live male white-tailed deer was in the trailer, with identification tags removed. Upon questioning the suspects, the officers learned it was the men’s intent to release the buck into the wild. Officers returned the animal to the facility, where it was euthanized and immediately transported to the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health at Michigan State University for testing. The deer tested negative for CWD. All 40 of the remaining deer at the farm were also shot and killed, then tested for the disease. All the test results came back negative. Four other deer that had been moved to farms in Montcalm and Osceola counties also tested negative for the disease. James Arthur Schuiteman, 52, and Brian Lee Schuiteman, 24, were arraigned in Rockford’s 63rd District Court, and charged with violating Michigan’s Animal Industry Act for movement of an animal in violation of the quarantine placed on their facility by MDA. This is a felony charge carrying a penalty of $1,000 to $5,000 in fines and imprisonment of up to five years. Both men waived their right […]