The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 20, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, March 20, 2014

Consider CWD in deer farm controversy

For those readers who are following the deer farm controversy, I suggest you read the latest news release (March 12, 2014) by Patrick Durkin titled: “CWD Worsens To Record Levels In Wisconsin.” ( /blog/2014/3/12/cwd-worsens-to-record-levels-in-wisconsin/).

That report states that during 2013, chronic wasting disease’s infection rates increased in the state’s core disease areas and spread farther into areas new to the disease. Simply stated, CWD infection rate increased from 5 percent in 2011 to 7 percent in 2012 to 8 percent in 2013.

It is obvious that attempts to control the spread of CWD — much less eradicate the disease — are not working.

In attempts to control the spread of CWD in Wisconsin, the State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection destroyed the 64-deer herd on the Alligator Creek deer farm. The U.S. Department of Agriculture destroyed the 76-deer herd on the Buckhorn Flats deer farm — 60 of the 76 deer tested positive for CWD. On Stan Hall and Patricia Casey’s deer farm, 82 deer tested positive for CWD.

West Virginia is in the early stages of dealing with CWD in the wild deer herd with confirmed cases only in Hampshire and Hardy counties. It appears to me it would be prudent for West Virginia to not further jeopardize its 1 million deer herd by relaxing regulations pertaining to deer farms in West Virginia.

Question: Who do we want to make the decision on deer farms? Politicians representing approximately 10 deer farmers, or the DNR representing 400,000 deer hunters and the state’s 1 million deer herd?

Editor’s note: Jan Riffe is a retired biologist and a former supervisor of Wildlife Research for the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and the former chief of Wildlife Research for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Jan Riffe


Thanks to Wyoming DOH in recent storms

We would like to thank the Wyoming County DOH for all the long hours they worked to keep our roads clear during the recent winter snow storms. You are the best.   

Steve and Diane Acord