A feedlot operator in Nebraska who has been linked to more than 200 cattle dying from neglect has been charged with more crimes in the case.
According to court records, Aaron Ogren, 30, of Exeter, was charged on May 8 with prohibited sale of livestock. Those charges are related to the sale of bulls that were not owned by Ogren, but were in his care.
Ogren’s total charges in the case are now one felony count of theft, nine felony counts of prohibited sale of livestock and 30 felony counts of cruelty to animals. Maximum penalties for the charges range from two to 20 years in prison.
The case against Ogren stems from an investigation where authorities found more than 200 dead cattle at a feedlot on April 4 and had to remove another 200-plus cattle because of malnourishment. Five days later Fillmore County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Ogren on April 9 without an incident.
In a separate civil case that took place on April 19 and a judge ruled that cattle that are currently in the county’s custody will have their care paid for by Ogren. A veterinarian who served as a witness in the civil case testified that 22 cows removed from the feedlot were a body condition score (BCS) of 1 while 65 head were a BCS of 2. The veterinarian also stated that yearling calves removed from the feedlot were averaging about 400 lb. when they should have been twice that weight.
Ogren and the feedlot owners have previously been in at least two lawsuits stemming from poor management of cattle. In one case a rancher from South Dakota was awarded nearly $300,000 after 76 calves and 7 cows went missing from the feedlot, along with a number of malnourished cattle. Another lawsuit against the feedlot owners awarded an Idaho woman $160,000 in damages after her cattle went missing and were malnourished while under the feedlots’ care from February 2017 to July 2018.
Another court hearing for Ogren is scheduled for May 29 in Exeter.
For more on this case read the following articles: