- "Researchers suspect the disease may be transmitted
by nose-to-nose contact between animals."
- CRAIG - A Colorado conservation
group is threatening legal action to force the slaughter of captive elk
on the Motherwell Ranch where four wild deer trapped inside were found
to have chronic wasting disease.
- Six wild deer in the area surrounding the ranch also
tested positive for the fatal brain disease in the first cases found west
of the Continental Divide.
- State and federal officials want to slaughter the 103
captive elk within the 1,800-acre ranch to help contain the disease, but
owner Wes Adams has refused to take a monetary settlement.
- "We do not frequently take legal action," said
Colorado Wildlife Federation Chairwoman Suzanne O'Neill. "But when
we believe we must, we do."
- O'Neill was also named to Gov. Bill Owens' task force
on chronic wasting disease last month.
- O'Neill said negotiations between Adams and the state
and federal agriculture departments have reached an impasse. Adams was
unavailable for comment late Wednesday.
- Decisions regarding Chronic Wasting Disease "Need
to be handled by the experts like the Division of Wildlife, not a congressman
or a judge," said Congressman Scott McInnis, R, Grand Junction.
- "We're trying to get money to the agencies to fight
this," McInnis said.
- Researchers suspect the disease may be transmitted by
nose-to-nose contact between animals.
- The Colorado Division of Wildlife has proposed to help
pay for the materials for a seven mile electric fence to surround the existing
ranch fence. However, Adams has reportedly refused to pay to build and
maintain the fence.
- Elk on 27 of Colorado's 129 licensed elk ranches were
killed this spring after infected animals were found on a northeastern
Colorado elk ranch. Some of the animals were shipped to other ranches in
- © 2002 Cox Newspapers, Inc.