17 pigs are euthanized in Carroll

Animals, including large boar, found on properties adjacent to quarantined farm

October 13, 2006|By Arin Gencer | Arin Gencer,sun reporter

Seventeen free-ranging pigs, including a 500-pound boar, were discovered and shot on properties next to a Carroll County farm that has been under state quarantine for about six months, according to county animal control officers.

Seven of those euthanized might have been the offspring of a sow trapped Tuesday morning outside the quarantined farm, said Nicky Ratliff, executive director of the Humane Society of Carroll County.

The properties where the swine appeared neighbor the 112-acre Marston farm belonging to Carroll L. Schisler Sr. More than 100 pigs were reported missing from the farm last month.

But officials said they don't believe the pigs recently discovered were among the ranks of the missing.

These swine were probably hiding and feeding in the fields, said Dr. Guy Hohenhaus, a state veterinarian.

"They were in the vicinity of the farm, and they're probably becoming more visible now because farms are harvesting corn and maybe soybeans," Hohenhaus said.

The pigs were euthanized in part because there would be no way to house the number being found, Ratliff said. They were sent to the state Department of Agriculture lab in Frederick for necropsies, she added.

Ratliff said animal control officers will continue to monitor the area, coming out when residents report sightings and also keeping an eye out for fresh tracks, trails and bedding areas.

"It's important for us and important for the health of the farm animals in the area, and important for the citizens in the area ... to eliminate the free-ranging pigs," Ratliff said.

This summer, five pigs caught outside the farm were found to have trichinosis, a potentially fatal disease caused by a parasitic worm.

Nine other pigs had toxoplasmosis, another disease caused by a parasite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One pig taken from the farm tested negative for both.

The state quarantined the farm in April, when a pig was discovered to have trichinosis.

arin.gencer@baltsun.com

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