Dec. 28 Agriculture Briefs


Several animals seized from 

rescue farm over health concerns

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Authorities have seized more than a dozen animals from a rescue farm over concerns that some of them may be sick.

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told The (Allentown) Morning Call that there were “concerns of lack of veterinary care and untreated medical conditions at the Heaven on Earth farm in Bethlehem.

SPCA workers and police were at the farm Wednesday afternoon to take the goats, calves, a pig, dogs and cats. Officials say some of the animals were given immediate medical care, but further details were not disclosed. Farm owner Jahjah Melhem declined to comment. The animal seizure comes several months after numerous visitors to the farm came down with a stomach bug, which health officials linked back to the rescue farm.


Livestock owners concerned about wolves in Boise foothills

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials say there have been no reports of livestock kills associated with a seven-member wolf pack that roamed in the Boise foothills last spring.

Idaho Wildlife Services Director Todd Grimm says the agency warned livestock producers in the area. He said Wednesday the current whereabouts of the pack is unclear.

Idaho Cattle Association Executive Vice President Cameron Mulrony tells the Capital Press in a story on Tuesday that just having wolves in the area can cause cattle to put on less weight and cost ranchers money.

Jennifer Struthers of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says there are usually several wolf sightings each winter in the foothills when elk and deer migrate to lower elevations. She says it’s not clear where the wolves go in the summer.


Emerald ash borer moving closer to North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Agriculture officials say emerald ash borers are getting closer to North Dakota.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring points out that Winnipeg is only about 65 miles north of the North Dakota border. Goehring says even with added precautions on the international border, it’s more important than ever for North Dakotans to prevent emerald ash borer from reaching the state. The Winnipeg infestation is now the closest to North Dakota. The previous closest infestation was the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

The insect’s larvae feed under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the movement of water and nutrients, and kill the tree within a few years. North Dakota has more than 92 million ash trees.


Santa Barbara County 

marijuana farm burglarized

CARPINTERIA, Calif. (AP) — The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department says a report of trespassing and vandalism at an orchard outside Carpinteria led to discovery of a burglary at a neighboring marijuana farm this week.

Deputies found that the orchard had been accessed to cut a hole in the fence around the adjoining property. The department says the investigation led to a local motel and discovery of drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine, more than 50 pounds (22 kilograms) of marijuana and marijuana plants, burglary tools and other items identified as property of the burglarized farm.

A man and woman were arrested.