A cattle farmer near Carberry is protesting the ruling by the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian that two cattle died on his farm from blackleg earlier this month.
“We have evidence that they didn’t die of natural causes,” said Allan Reynolds, the owner of the animals. “We have protested their decision and we were told that a Manitoba vet will re-investigate the matter and get back to us.”
Blackleg is an infectious bacterial disease that is most commonly found in cattle and sheep. The bacteria multiplies quickly in the animals and produces a large amount of gas that can build up in muscle and tissue with potentially fatal results.
Reynolds doesn’t believe his cattle died from blackleg.
“Our opinion is that the animals were shot and we have very explicit photographs of them and the damage done isn’t from predators.”
One calf was seven months old and the other just over six months old. Each weighed around 800 pounds.
Photos obtained by the Brandon Sun show one calf dead on the ground with the side of its jaw and tongue missing. The rest of the head is fully intact.
While the second photo shows a dead calf with injuries to its right eye, the rest of the animal is unharmed.
Reynolds offered a different explanation for the calves’ deaths, believing that the animals were shot by a bow and arrow.
Both heads of the cattle were examined by the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian, Blue Hills RCMP Cpl. Jarrid St. Pierre said.
“The cattle died from a disease called blackleg according to the autopsy conducted by the chief veterinarian,” St. Pierre said.
The examination pointed to scavenger animals such as birds for the injuries to the heads of the cattle.
“The autopsy determined that the injuries and trauma that we observed to the animals was caused by predatory scavenger animals attacking the deceased corpse,” St. Pierre said. “There was no gunshot wound or any type of weapon wound associated with the animals,” St. Pierre said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 30, 2012