Sick pigs escaping from Carroll farm, officials say

August 11, 2006|By LAURA MCCANDLISH | LAURA MCCANDLISH,SUN REPORTER

Pigs -- many of which have tested positive for the deadly parasite trichinosis -- continue to wiggle in and out of patchy fencing on a Carroll County farm that has been under swine quarantine, the county's humane society director told county commissioners yesterday.

State veterinarians have found that about 60 percent of the pigs roaming just outside the Marston farm in western Carroll County have the disease, which is caused by a parasitic worm, said Carolyn "Nicky" Ratliff, the county's humane society director. All pigs trapped outside the property are being euthanized to prevent public health risks, Ratliff said.

"It's been almost two years dealing with the problem of these specific pigs," Ratliff said. "I'm really fed up."

Since April, the farm has been under a swine quarantine that forbids pigs, dead or alive, from being brought onto or taken off of the property.

The farm's owner, Carroll L. Schisler Sr., 60, and his son, Carroll L. Schisler Jr., 34, were to repair their fences under the terms of the quarantine, said Sue duPont, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. But the aging fences had not been fixed when state agriculture officials surveyed the property last Friday, duPont said.

Both Schislers are facing multiple criminal charges after being arrested in July. They were indicted on 19 counts, including animal cruelty, feeding garbage to swine and selling contaminated meat on the property. The charges stemmed from two raids by federal and state investigators in the spring.

A federal judge also ordered the Schislers in late July to stop selling butchered livestock on the farm or face expensive fines, imprisonment or the seizure of the property.

laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com

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