PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - Authorities responding to a tip discovered 14 dead cattle at a property in the small northern Oregon city of Hermiston and another 15 were malnourished, Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said.
Authorities are working with a special prosecutor from Benton County who specializes in animal neglect cases, and reports should be submitted to the Umatilla County district attorney this week, the East Oregonian newspaper reported (https://bit.ly/2iY3eDs ) on Monday.
The suspected neglect was reported last Thursday by an anonymous caller who noticed dead animals from across a road. A search warrant was served two days later and Rowan said investigators found the dead cattle - mostly yearling calves.
Their corpses had been left outside for several days, Rowan said. Oregon law requires carcasses to be buried or burned within 15 hours.
Rowan said the sick cattle lacked food and water. During their investigation, officers found that a water trough was frozen over with six inches of ice.
The cattle were very skinny, Rowan said, with their backbones and hip bones showing.
“These are Angus cattle that are typically well-rounded animals,” he said. “Our evaluation and evidence would point to neglect or inadequate feed.”
Rowan said the malnourished animals will be left where they were found because of their numbers and fragile health. Officers will be checking daily to make sure they receive proper care.
“We do not believe they can be transported without further loss,” Rowan said. “From this point forward, we’re just ensuring continued care.”
Information from: East Oregonian, https://www.eastoregonian.com
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