Illegal Deer Operation Shutdown

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Law enforcement officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) charged a Clark County man today with operating an illegal deer farm on Big Stoner Road.

The undercover operation began after John M. Debold, 52, of Winchester, attempted to illegally sell elk to undercover KDFWR officers. Debold was also charged with illegally holding elk, fallow deer, axis deer, caribou and white-tailed deer in captivity without a permit.

According to KDFWR Col. David Casey, officers confiscated several illegal animals and are processing them for testing at the University of Kentucky diagnostic lab.

"These animals were acquired from undocumented sources outside Kentucky, and pose a danger to Kentucky's native and captive herds," said Casey.

This investigation continues efforts by the KDFWR and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to protect the state from the illegal shipment of cervids from areas infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

CWD is a fatal disease in deer and elk which has reached epidemic levels in other states. CWD can be traced back to captive deer facilities, and is now present in deer in 11 states, including northern Illinois bordering Kentucky. All transportation of live deer and other cervids has been banned in Kentucky since November 2002.

KDFWR Officer Sgt. James Bingham led the investigation in the Debold case.