Taxpayer money should fight chronic wasting disease, not compensate deer farmers!

After reading the June 11 article “Feds euthanize deer at farm, pay for losses,” I was outraged to learn that taxpayer money was used to compensate a deer farmer in Denver, for up to $3,000 per animal, when his captive deer herd had contracted CWD. CWD is a very serious threat. There is no known cure. CWD material can remain active in the soil and environment for many years — long after infected animals are euthanized and removed.

This disease has been spread across the country by the captive deer industry and is now in Lancaster County. In Pennsylvania, CWD was first found in 2012 on a private deer farm in Adams County. Since then, it has been found in captive deer herds in five counties and has spread to wild deer. Once CWD appears in the wild, slowing the spread of the disease requires costly investigation, testing and surveillance for many years and often requires drastic reductions in deer populations.

There is currently no known way to decontaminate an environment once CWD is present. The captive deer farming and breeding industry has created this situation in Pennsylvania. It makes no sense why deer farmers are given compensation after they have created a problem. Those with captive deer should be required to carry their own liability insurance to cover their losses — and the cost of monitoring the surrounding area. Why is the taxpayer picking up the tab?

Todd Witmer

Mount Joy