Sheriff responds to PETA claims of malnourished cattle in Leesville

The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office has responded to PETA complaints of cattle starvation and...
The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office has responded to PETA complaints of cattle starvation and mistreatment on a property in Leesville, Louisiana. Sheriff Sam Craft says he personally went to investigate and found the cattle to be in "adequate physical shape." He says adequate food and water were on the property, as well as ample pasture space. He also says an investigator from the Louisiana Livestock Brand Commission investigated.(Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office)
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 7:08 PM CDT
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Leesville, LA (KPLC) - Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft says he personally responded to PETA complaints of alleged malnourishment of cattle on a property in Leesville, Louisiana.

An article posted to PETA’s website claimed a property on Scott Road had “been strewn with the carcasses of dozens of cows in varying states of decomposition in the past and reportedly now contains some 30 live cows, half of whom are severely underweight.” According to PETA’s sources, the issue has been ongoing for at least five years, and countless cows have been dragged off the property after dying to make room for new arrivals. Caseworkers from PETA reportedly requested an investigation by the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Feeling as though their concerns were not being taken seriously, PETA implored the public to urge Louisiana officials to take action in this case, and Facebook users took that to heart, leaving hundreds of comments on the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

According to the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, their office received a complaint on March 30, 2023, about the state of the cattle at the property on Scott Road and immediately contacted the Louisiana Livestock Brand Commission to investigate.

On April 3, a Vernon Parish Deputy reportedly met with a Livestock Brand Investigator at the location on Scott Road. The investigator said there was adequate food and water available, and the owner of the cattle was present and cooperative throughout the course of the day. VPSO authorities also said the investigator saw no badly emaciated cattle.

Sheriff Craft and Chief Deputy Turner went to the property on May 9, 2023, unannounced, without the owner present, to observe the cattle themselves. They returned the following day, May 10, and met with the owner. They claim the owner was again cooperative throughout the process.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office said the cattle were observed to have ample pasture space and adequate water, as well as bales of hay and mineral tubs for the cattle’s nutritional needs.

Vernon Sheriff Sam Craft - “I’ve been around cattle my entire life. I’ve seen cattle before that look a lot worse than these. Some could stand to add a few more pounds, but overall, they are in adequate physical shape. The cows vary in age with some cows having small to medium size calves at their side. Anyone who knows anything about cattle knows that a nursing calf creates a hardship on a cow. With all things being considered, we find no reason to continue this investigation. In regards to any cattle that may have died here in the past, older cattle often suffer significant weight loss before dying, and tend to appear extremely thin a majority of the time. It has happened to cows that I have owned and it will happen to anyone who has ever owned any type of livestock. This is not intended to sound cruel, but to merely offer an explanation. I personally photographed the animals at the location and I will include those photographs with this release.”