Jolley: An Animal Welfare Seizure Done The Right Way

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Howard Pankratz of the Denver Post wrote a story headlined ‘Rancher found to be an "unfit owner" of cattle.’ I’ll tease you with the first two paragraphs and then link you to the full story.

“The owner of a a ranch where 79 decomposing cattle carcasses were found in March has been declared an "unfit owner" by a judge.

The judge also ordered that ownership of 28 cattle seized by the state's Bureau of Animal Protection in April be turned over to the state of Colorado until they are sold at auction.”


Here is the link: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15023235?source=rss

It’s an important story for two reasons. (1). The action was brought about legally and correctly by the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Protection. (2). HSUS was not involved in any way.

There are systems in place in the ag industry to find and remove the bad guys, whether they be the Bureau of Animal Protection taking legal action against the owner of those horribly mistreated cattle in or Texas & Southwest Cattle Raisers Association’s special rangers who have been tracking down cattle thieves for over 130 years. They know their job and they understand the legal way to do things. When they see a problem, they move to correct it right now. Immediately. No lollygagging.

The HSUS, on the other hand, is guilty of seeking out alleged cases of animal cruelty, surreptitiously taping it for weeks and then releasing the video to the press, timing it for maximum coverage and fund-raising, not for the sake of the animals. Some of their tactics smack of a high handedness that’s possibly illegal and definitely
beyond the pale.

Taping animal abuse for weeks without doing something to stop it belies the ‘Humane’ part of their name, doesn’t it? Engineering the seizure of animals without input from recognized experts or going through the proper legal steps, then abandoning their newfound financial responsibilities when it comes to their feeding and care is another of their less than savory tactics.

Their actions in the now infamous horse seizure in Arkansas are a case in point (Click here for the story). I’ve heard similar reports from cattlemen and horse owners in Missouri that people reputed to be HSUS members or other misguided souls sympathetic to their goals are engaging in harassment, trespassing and threatening behavior.

In the Colorado case, the cattle were seized with the proper documentation and the court case was settled based on the testimony of properly credentialed veterinarians and livestock experts who described a "profound lack of care" for the cattle.

The guilty party was prohibited from owning cattle until further notice, removed from the system the same way as any person who commits a crime, be it theft, assault and battery or other transgression against the public good.

The story ended with a note that “Donations for the care and feeding of the cattle can be made to the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Animal Protection Fund. Checks should be made out to "Colorado Department of Agriculture." In the memo line write: "Animal Protection Fund-Logan County." The checks should be mailed the CDA, 700 Kipling St., Lakewood, Co. 80215.”

I suggest you write a check and mail it to CDA’s Animal Protection Fund. Rest assured that your money will be used to take care of animals in need, not to cover huge lobbying expenses created by groups with an anti animal agriculture agenda.

Bottom line: There is an active, concerned group of people in animal agriculture who are seriously involved in animal welfare. They know what they are doing and what constitutes abuse, legally and morally. Let’s work closely with them and make sure they’re adequately funded.

Chuck Jolley is a free lance writer, based in Kansas City, who covers a wide range of ag industry topics for Cattlenetwork.com and Agnetwork.com.



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