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Bales v. Ohio State Department of Agriculture

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

April 5, 2018

Timothy Bales, Appellant-Appellant,
v.
Ohio State Department of Agriculture, Appellee-Appellee.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 17CV-4743

         On brief:

          Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, LTD, Eric T Michener and Chad Yoder, for appellant.

          Michael DeWine, Attorney General, James R. Patterson and Lydia Arko Zigler, for appellee.

         Argued:

          James R. Patterson.

          DECISION

          TYACK, J.

         {¶ 1} Timothy Bales is appealing from the destruction of his herd of deer which allegedly was suffering from chronic wasting disease ("CWD"). He assigns two errors for our consideration:

I. The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas abused its discretion when it held that ODAs destruction Order No. 2017-092 was supported by reliable, probative and substantial evidence.
II. The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas erred in holding that Appellant's due process was not violated when ODA issued and executed a destruction order of Appellant's deer before a hearing was held and before allowing Appellant to remedy any alleged risks his deer posed.

         {¶ 2} Bales is the owner of Honey Run Farm in Millersburg, Ohio. The farm had a herd of captive whitetail deer when he bought the farm. The Ohio State Department of Agriculture ("the Department") has the responsibility for managing wild animals. The department concluded that the deer on Honey Run Farm suffered from CWD and sought to have them destroyed.

         {¶ 3} Apparently the deer were under quarantine when Bales purchased them. At the time Bales purchased them he did not have the required license for owning captive deer.

         {¶ 4} Bales purchased the farm and deer from a Dan Yoder who owned multiple herds of deer. Yoder had a bad history of managing the herds, or at least of keeping the required records for such deer.

         {¶ 5} CWD can only be diagnosed post mortem. The deer essentially can be diagnosed definitively as having the disease only after they have been killed to determine if the disease killed them. The disease must have ...


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