For Immediate Release
October 24, 2011
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
MDOL Recovers Cattle For Montana Producer
Montana Department of Livestock investigators, assisted by investigators from the Nevada Department of Agriculture, recently recovered 34 stolen cows and 25 assorted yearlings and calves for a Montana livestock producer.
The adult cows, which were recovered in the high desert near the Nevada-California border, had been illegally imported into Nevada and rebranded, according to Ernie McCaffree, who supervises MDOL’s district investigators in western Montana.
All of the adult cows were non-Official Calfhood Vaccinates (OCV), McCaffree said, and as such, were illegally imported into Nevada. Per Nevada state law for non-vaccinates, all of the cows have been or will be sold at market and sent to slaughter, with proceeds going to the legal brand owners.
All 59 head had to be tested for brucellosis and tuberculosis before being sent to slaughter. The bulls were also tested for trichomoniasis.
“They were basically trespassing on range in the Toiyabe National Forest and intermingling with other cattle,” said Lt. Blaine Northrop, Agricultural Enforcement Specialist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture. ”We had to know what we were dealing with as far as possible bovine diseases because the cattle entered Nevada without brand inspection and health papers.”
Charges in Nevada for illegal importation and branding are pending, Northrop said.
Six missing or stolen cattle were also recovered for an a Washington producer, and Northrop said his agency is “still looking for more cattle up there.”
MDOL investigators worked the case for four months.
During the past three years, MDOL investigators have recovered 7,389 missing or stolen cattle worth more than $7.9 million for Montana livestock producers.