By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
TOWN OF MARYLAND – The stench could be smelled for a mile.
More than two dozen dead cows in various states of decay were found in a barn on Route 7 in the Town of Maryland last night, after Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies were alerted to the conditions on the farm.
“It appears they all starved to death,” said Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. “There was no food or water. It’s despicable.”
15 live cattle, as well as goats and pigs, were seized from the farm, and another 17 were put into the pasture while arrangements for relocation were made.
“The priority is to get the carcasses buried,” he said.
It is the third such case of neglect this year. “This is unacceptable,” said Devlin. “Farmers face an uphill battle, but that’s no excuse. People would have taken those cattle. There are sales and auctions. There are other things you can do other than leaving them in a barn without food and water. It’s inhumane.”
The investigation is ongoing, but Devlin anticipates that charges will be filed.
Devlin is a founding member of the PETS task force, which seeks to combat animal cruelty through education and prevention.
Earlier this month, two pigs were seized from a Pittsfield farm after they were found to be without food or water. “We need to get the word out that there’s help,” he said. “We want to get in there before these animals starve to death.”