PASCO, Wash. – An Idaho sheep rancher is under investigation for animal cruelty after 29 dead cows were seen off U.S. 395 near Pasco, Washington.
The Tri-City Herald reports a person in the area called the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office after spotting the dead cattle on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property north of Pasco.
Franklin County Capt. Monty Huber said deputies flew over the property and saw the animals.
Deputies didn’t see any sign of cattle food or tire tracks in the snow and that investigators believe the owner, James Marek, let them starve, Huber said.
Marek’s attorney, Scott Johnson, argued in court that sheriff’s deputies have no proof the animals starved. The cattle died in February winter storms and Marek filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Agriculture saying he lost livestock due to weather, he said.
An investigation is ongoing.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.