Utah Department of Agriculture and Food officials are concerned about 83 missing livestock cases and seven suspicious livestock death cases reported this year, through July. (Annie Barker, Deseret News)
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TAYLORSVILLE — Utah agricultural leaders say they are noticing an alarming new trend this year.
There has been an uptick in missing livestock or livestock killed across the state. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food reported Tuesday that they have received 77 reports of missing cattle this year, as well as five horses or mules, and one sheep or goat. Of those 83 cases, only seven have been found.
They are also investigating seven “suspicious” livestock deaths. It’s not clear why this happening, either.
“Our department has been investigating a substantial amount of cases of missing livestock and suspicious livestock deaths this year,” said Leann Hunting, the department’s animal industry director, in a statement. “While we don’t know the exact cause of the increase in cases, it is very concerning and we want to raise awareness of these happenings.”
The number of cases is expected to increase in the fall months, based on trends in previous years, department officials add. This uptick is why they advise livestock owners and producers to be “vigilant” and monitor their herds closely. They also encourage livestock producers to report cases of missing or harmed livestock to their local brand inspector.
The department offers rewards of $20,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in the theft, mutilation or malicious killing of livestock. Any tips related to missing or killed livestock in the state can be made to its livestock investigator at 435-419-0021.