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News from Around the Farm World
Indiana deputy finds barn
with neglected, dead animals

ANGOLA, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana man faces animal neglect charges after police found dead livestock in a barn where nearly a dozen other neglected animals later had to be euthanized.

Steuben County sheriff’s deputy Adam Miller was dispatched Thursday to the farm near Angola, about 40 miles north of Fort Wayne, on an anonymous report of animal neglect. As he approached an old barn on the property, he saw a dead goat. Inside the barn, Miller found several other dead animals, including a pig and seven sheep.

A veterinarian later euthanized a cow, three sheep, five pigs and a goat that were in bad condition because they had been neglected. Police said charges are pending against a Noble County man believed responsible for the condition of the animals. That man, who police did not identify, would be charged this week.

Miller said the family that owns the property rents out the barn, and police do not consider them responsible for the neglect.

Dailey disqualifies 2003 Ohio
State Fair grand champion lamb

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey has disqualified the 2003 Ohio State Fair Grand Champion Lamb and ordered the owners to forfeit awards, prizes, premiums and proceeds earned from the show.

During routine urine testing, animal inspectors found ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing agent that has been approved for use in swine, but not in sheep, in the animal exhibited by Ryan Daulton of Georgetown, Ohio.

An investigation found that the animal had consumed feed mistakenly tainted with ractopamine by the manufacturer. Rowe Premix Inc., the feed manufacturer, was fined for this error.

The manufacturer fully cooperated with the department during the investigation, which produced no evidence that Daulton intentionally administered ractopamine to his animal. Daulton requested a hearing to dispute the order, which was on Nov. 23, 2005.

“Even if a food animal is unintentionally fed adulterated feed, the animal still remains ineligible,” Dailey said.

“Unapproved drugs are not permitted in food animals under any conditions. Although the disqualification is unfortunate, since the exhibitor did no wrong, it is the only course of action to assure fairness of exhibitions.”

State livestock exhibition law and rules prohibit giving unapproved drugs to livestock before or during an exhibition (Ohio Administrative Code 901-19-04).

This is one of many rules established through the 1995 Livestock Tampering Act, which set clear, concise regulations for competitive livestock exhibitions in Ohio.

Ohio farmers investing
in anti-pollution safeguards

VERSAILLES, Ohio (AP) — Jeff Wuebker points proudly to three towering, baby blue storage tanks he bought to replace his aging steel ones.

Wuebker believes the thick plastic tanks reduce the chances that the liquid nitrogen fertilizer they contain will spill and then pollute streams near his western Ohio farm. The 10,000-gallon, 13-foot-tall tanks cost $18,000, and Wuebker was only able to get $2,000 from the government to help with the cost.

Many farmers are putting more of their own money into anti-pollution measures - upgrading storage tanks, building dikes and planting grass barriers to absorb and filter soil and chemicals that runoff water can carry from the farm. The farmers’ actions are driven by pressure from city dwellers who have moved nearby, concern about protecting their own drinking water, a desire to preserve the land that grows their crops and feeds their livestock, and tougher environmental regulations.

Beginning Jan. 1, any Ohio farmer with fertilizer tanks that hold more than 5,000 gallons will be required to have dikes or some sort of barrier around them to contain spills.

Wuebker, 35, and his brother, Alan, grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on the 900-acre farm, as well as raise cows and pigs. Wuebker estimates he has spent about $25,000 of his own money in the past five years for anti-pollution measures, five times more than he’s spent in previous years.

His recent expenditures include adding 42-inch-high steel dikes that circle his fertilizer storage tanks. He has built a .75-mile long waterway lined with grass that captures soil and chemicals that run off his fields during heavy rains. Except for the dikes, there was no legal requirement for Wuebker to take these steps.

3/29/2006