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Cow mutilations in Texas counties: What led to the death of six cattle & who's responsible?

Posted at 6:24 AM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 22:04:18-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — The cause of death for six cows in multiple Texas counties remains unknown.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund helps us understand if cases like this are “normal” and seen often and why they need your help to help crack the case.

“In this instance, we know something mysterious is happening to animals, cows in Texas, and we’d like to help people figure out what that is,” said David Rosengard, managing attorney, The Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office reported in April the unknown cause of death for six mutilated cows in Brazos, Madison, and Robertson counties.

The cows’ tongues had been removed completely. They were found lying on their sides with some genitalia also cut out, with no blood spill.

Rosengard shared how troubling this case is.

“What is that the cows are suffering, mishap or misadventure, they’re getting injured, they’re falling sick, they’re dying, but in that case, we would expect some forensic evidence that indicates this,” said Rosengard. “This is less clear.”

That organization is now offering a $5,000 reward to help fill in the gaps.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office ruling out scavenging, determining if humans are ultimately responsible for the cows’ death.

“The final option is question mark,” said Rosengard. “We just don’t know.”

Rosengard says they work with the best modern forensic scientists.

“…but that isn’t going to tell us everything,” said Rosengard.

Animals matter and cows in Texas have…

“…the right to be shielded from unlawful cruelty at human hands. It’s illegal to torture them,” said Rosengard. “Animals are living, feeling creatures, not objects, not things.”

Dr. Tom Hairgrove, veterinarian, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, weighed in on protective measures you can take for your animals.

“Make sure your cattle are identified,” Hairgrove said. “In Texas, we have our brands go by county, so you need to make sure you register your brand.”

Farming dogs, shepherds, and modern technology can also help you steer clear of unwanted visitors.

“Anything you can do to show where there is activity,” said Dr. Hairgrove. “People, they want to prey on places where it doesn’t look like anybody’s been here for a while so I can get in there and get some cattle and get out.”

“Drone oversights, electronic tagging and tracking, and certainly fencing is a good opportunity to at least restrict who’s coming in and out of the property,” said Rosengard.

The question remains — what happened to these cows and who is responsible?

The reward will remain open the entire duration of the case.

If you have any information regarding the death of these cows, you are asked to contact Investigator Foster with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at (936) 348-2755.