A northern Utah man faces criminal charges after 46 cows he was hired to take care of died of starvation, and numerous others were seriously injured or impaired. Jeremiah Daniel Kingston, 29, Box Elder County, along with Natural Choice LLC, Plymouth, UT, were charged with wanton destruction of livestock, a second-degree felony.
According to court documents, Kingston and his company contracted to care for 585 cows, "which included responsibilities to 'supervise supply of water to livestock,' 'moving of livestock around pastures as needed,' and 'put forth reasonable efforts to minimize death, loss, and theft.'"
However, prosecutors claim, during the summer of 2018 Kingston and Natural Choice failed to do so. Additionally, say prosecutors, conditions became so "deplorable" that 46 died from starvation while: Many were incapable of walking, numerous cows became unable to produce milk, and many have permanent physical alterations, impairments, or conditions that have ruined the breed line.
Witnesses also observed Kingston "attempting to hide dead cows by dragging them into bushes and covering them with sticks and brush," the charges state.
Other ranchers pointed out to Kingston numerous times about the poor conditions, but he "consciously chose to ignore the warnings.” The total value of the animals affected totals more than $300,000, court documents state.