Nebraska Feeder Pleads Not Guilty to Cruelty Charges in Cattle Deaths

After more than 200 cattle died on a feedlot in Nebraska, the cattle feeder who was responsible for the animals' care has pleaded not guilty to 40 charges he faces in the alleged livestock neglect case. ( Fillmore County Sheriff's Department )

A cattle feeder in Nebraska has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges following the death and neglect of hundreds of animals that were in his care. Some of the charges include cruelty and cattle theft after approximately 200 head of cattle were found dead at a Fillmore County farm.

According to court records, Aaron Ogren, 30, of Exeter, entered his not guilty pleas to the 40 different counts he faces on June 11. Charges against Ogren include:

  • One felony count of theft
  • Nine counts of prohibited sale of livestock
  • 30 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.

For more on this case read the following articles: