A dairy farmer in New York has been charged with 27 counts of animal cruelty after 27 cows were found dead on a rented farm.
James Mumbulo, 45, was arrested by New York State Police on Oct. 21 after the authorities discovered 27 dead cows. The cows were found inside a rented barn near Edmeston in several inches of manure. The official charges are a misdemeanor and are enforced by the New York Agriculture and Markets Law. The 27 counts against Mumbulo are for “Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals.”
Upon inspection of the barn state troopers found that no feed or water was present in the barn. The arrest was made by authorities after consulting with a veterinarian and the District Attorney’s office.
Aga Dembinska, public information officer for New York State Police Troop C, tells WKTV that she has never seen anything like this before.
“The veterinarian looked at the animals and determined that they had been deceased for good amount of time,” Dembinska says. “They could not even determine the cause of death.”
Photos of the decomposed cows are not being shared by troopers because of the graphic nature and the pictures might impact a legal case should it go to trial.
According to The New York Times, Mumbulo was struggling to rebuild his dairy business after a processing plant stopped purchasing his milk. His father, Dennis Mumbulo, had previously sold a dairy farm several years ago and denies the charges against his son. Dennis Mumbulo believes the cattle probably died from pneumonia in the spring.
The family plans to clean out the barn and bury the cows.
“We didn’t make it there the way we probably should’ve,” Dennis Mumbulo says. “We’re all very sorry that it happened.”
The case was “unusual and shocking” to David Balbian, a regional dairy specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
“The one thing I would say is dairy farmers have been under severe economic pressures because the milk prices have been quite low for quite some time,” Balbian says. “But it’s not an excuse for not caring for their animals.”
James Mumbulo has been released from jail on appearance tickets and will appear before the Edmeston Court on Nov. 19.