‘Substantial’ number of missing and killed cattle reported in Utah

Utah farm leaders say they are noticing an alarming new trend this year.

There has been an increase in the number of livestock missing or livestock killed across the state. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food said Tuesday it has received 77 reports of missing livestock this year, along with five horses or mules and one sheep or goat. Of these 83 cases, only seven have been found.

They are also investigating seven “suspicious” livestock deaths. It is also not known why this is happening.

“Our department has investigated a significant number of missing livestock cases and suspicious livestock deaths this year,” Leann Hunting, director of animal industry for the department, said in a statement. “Although we don’t know the exact cause of the increase in cases, it is very concerning and we want to raise awareness of these events.”

The number of cases is expected to rise in the fall months, based on trends from previous years, ministry officials add. This rise is why they advise livestock owners and producers to be “vigilant” and watch their herds closely. They also encourage ranchers to report cases of missing or injured cattle to their local brand inspector.

The department is offering rewards of $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the theft, maiming or malicious slaughter of livestock. Any tips related to missing or killed livestock in the state can be directed to its Livestock Investigator at 435-419-0021.

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