Ranchers hope rewards help stop cattle shootings
SALT LAKE CITY — Dozens of cattle shootings have occurred on public rangelands as well as in private pastures and even corrals in Utah over the past year. Ranchers are hoping rewards offered for information in those cases will help to catch the culprits.
Wade Garrett with the Utah Farm Bureau says one of the attacks helped his family. In that case, the juvenile offender was caught, and reward money was a factor in that prosecution. But in many other cases, local law enforcement has no idea who’s responsible.
“It’s been hard,” Garrett tells KSL Newsradio. “Hopefully, working with agencies we’ll trace down some of these others where this has happened.”
Rewards up to $10,000 are available in cases involving members of the Utah Farm Bureau. One group of ranchers in central Utah has offered a reward of $20,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction. The Utah legislature has also passed HB 166 in its most recent session that makes it easier to charge the wanton destruction of livestock as a felony.
A productive cow can generate thousands of dollars for ranchers, with calves expected through its life. In some cases, very valuable bulls have been shot.
But Garrett says there’s more than just the economic loss at stake that these cattle shootings are affecting.
“Ranchers care deeply about their animals. We do raise them for food purposes, but we like them treated humanely through the system and not shot and left to suffer.”
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