Utah DWR to wipe out sheep herdContributors to this thread:
First--hopefully this hasn't been posted already. It just came to me from WSF email. This is frustrating to me. Hopefully, someone in the know can fill in what I am missing. If they are just going to kill them anyway, why not auction off tags or open up a registration hunt to anyone with points in Utah. If they kill, they lose their points? I can think of any number of better options that would generate 100's of thousands in revenue instead of paying 10's of thousands for helicopter guys to run around. Alternately, wouldn't a strain-resistant sheep (one that survives the "bug") be super important for researchers to come up with a vaccination and impart that resistance to other herds? It just seems very short-sighted to think the best option is to spend a bunch of money on helicopters when multiple better options seem obvious.
Personally I would let the wildlife managers do the managing. All in all they have done a decent job of things with wild sheep considering were we are at now compared to a hundred years ago.
I just finished reading the post of the guy who took the deer home and was trying to save it after he busted through the ice...., so don't take this the wrong way..... so to all the people against what the guy tried to do there, shouldn't we just let nature take its course in this situation??
Curious to know if the survivors are immune to the pathogen? Seems to me they could be if the rest of the herd is already dead. I can’t imagine this wasn’t considered.... pretty rare for a disease to be 100% fatal.
Lee, that is a real good point! If they are, wouldn't mean their offspring would be resistant as well?
Killing off the remaining sheep that seem to have survived the die off only to bring in other healthly animals when the source of the outbreak is unknown doesn’t make any sense to me... seems like they should try and get a better grasp on what happened before wiping out the existing herd and replacing with new animals...
UT DNR is known for not making the best decisions at times...
Just because the sheep don't die from a disease doesn't mean the survivors are healthy. Oftentimes infection reduces the herd's ability to reproduce so it stagnates. With that, it is better to wipe the affected herd out and start fresh than allow the surviving population to muddle along. Bringing healthy animals into an infected herd is throwing good money after bad.
To add to what Matt wrote regarding the survivors not being healthy; I’ve read it can be passed to lambs and can take several generations for the pathogen to dissipate. It’s been several years since I read that so my facts may not be exact but it would explain the strategy of wiping out the survivors and starting over.