About 20 deer that were likely exposed to a deadly neurological disease have escaped from a farm in Jackson County. Some have since been captured, leaving seven unaccounted for.
The Department of Natural Resources is advising hunters to be on the lookout for the deer that have tagged ears in Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings and Scott counties. The DNR says hunters should kill the deer if they get the opportunity.
DNR spokesman Phil Bloom says the disease, called chronic wasting disease, has been documented in 23 states. He says some of those have spent millions of dollars trying to contain it.
“We don’t want that disease period in anywhere, either inside the fence or outside the fence,” Bloom says. “We particular don’t want it outside the fence, as our agency is involved with managing the deer hunting and deer population of the state. Once it’s outside the fence, it is near impossible to eliminate and very difficult to control.”
The deer were imported from a Pennsylvania farm. A deer that died at that facility also tested positive the disease. Bloom says there is no evidence the disease is transferable to humans.