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Humane Society tags Wiles' cows

March 10, 2007|by TARA REILLY

Humane Society of Washington County officials on Friday visited a farm on which Greg Wiles cares for some of his cows.

Wiles, whose herd includes one cloned cow and several offspring from clones, said five vehicles were parked at the farm off Natural Well Road near Williamsport when he arrived to care for the animals in the afternoon.

In addition to the Humane Society, Wiles said state veterinary and farm loan officials were there.

At least two Humane Society vans were at the farm after 3 p.m., along with several other vehicles. People standing around the vehicles drove away when a reporter from The Herald-Mail arrived at the site.

Paul Miller, executive director of the Humane Society, said in January the agency was investigating a complaint received about Wiles. Miller would not provide details about the complaint.

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Wiles, who does not own the property, said he did not know why the officials visited Friday. He said he wasn't sure whether the officials had permission to be there or whether the Humane Society was acting within its rights to investigate.

He said farm animals are exempt from Washington County's animal control ordinance.

"They (walked) around and put identification tags on the cows' ears, and they aren't explaining why they're doing it," Wiles said.

Wiles said he suspects they tagged the animals to prevent offspring of cloned cows from entering the food chain. Wiles, who is facing financial difficulties, has said he would consider breaking a voluntary ban on selling cloned animals for food.

Wiles' father evicted him from his farm on Big Bend Way in January for failure to pay rent.

Katherine Cooker, the Humane Society's manager of development and community relations, said by phone she was not aware of Friday's developments.

"I can't comment on that because I don't know what was up today," Cooker said.

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