Crimes Against Livestock On The Rise

Grazing cattle
Grazing cattle
(Hall & Hall)

Ranchers are reporting a rash of senseless and cruel cattle shootings this year. A Utah official says at least 19 head have been killed in the state since April. Last week a $20,000 reward was announced by the Central Utah Cattlemen’s Association for information regarding the shooting of five cattle owned by a Mayfield rancher.

In North Carolina, four pregnant Angus cows were fatally shot in late July near Waxhaw, the Charlotte Observer reported.

In South Dakota, four Charolais cattle were shot the first week of August in Brookings County, the Brookings Register reported.

Last spring, two cows were shot and killed with a bow and arrow in Wagoner County, Oklahoma.  

“This is senseless killing, and it needs to stop,” rancher Eric Lyman, who lost cows in Utah, told the Sanpete Messenger. “We’re willing to pay rewards, and we just ask people to keep their eyes open and report anything that looks funny to the authorities.”

Russell Faatz, who ranches near Manti, Utah, said, “This year, the shootings have really picked up. If people need the meat, that’s one thing, but to let it sit there and rot, that’s just stupid.”

Last October, another Utah rancher, Mark Mecham lost a prized Longhorn bull and Angus steer calf that were shot to death. In April, Ephraim rancher Tom Lund discovered five of his sheep dead and left to rot in a pasture. The Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the sheep to have died from gunshot wounds.

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Industry Director Leann Hunting told the Messenger since April, 19 Utah livestock animals have died in their fields by gunshot. She said all of the cases she referenced have remained unsolved, but that “it’s hard to believe they were stray bullets.”


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