Rancher barred from livestock after prison

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (AP) — A southeast Nebraska farmer who was imprisoned for neglecting his animals in 2011 is headed back to prison and won’t be allowed to own any livestock after he gets out.

Otoe County District Court records say 67-year-old John Maahs, of Unadilla, was sentenced March 6 to two years. Judge Julie Smith also barred him from possessing livestock for 75 years. He’d pleaded no contest to five counts of abandonment or cruel neglect of livestock.

Authorities tipped off last April found the carcasses of more than 40 pigs and 15 goats on the farm, with live hogs feeding on dead hogs. Animals were locked inside buildings without food or water, although deputies found plenty of feed in sacks on the farm.

Maahs pleaded no contest in 2012 to the same charge and served more than a year in prison. In September 2011 deputies found about 1,000 hog carcasses on the property.

Rancher charged when

dead cows found

WEST COLLEGE CORNER, Ind. (AP) — An eastern Indiana farmer faces charges after 38 dead cows were found on his property.

The (Richmond) Palladium-Item reported 42-year-old Rodney Sintz of West College Corner is charged with three counts of failure to properly dispose of a dead animal and three counts of cruelty to an animal.

Court documents say an Indiana State Board of Animal Health field veterinarian found the dead cows in various stages of decomposition March 5. Under state law, animals must be properly disposed of within 24 hours of an owner’s knowledge that they have died.

The veterinarian said other cattle appeared below normal body weight and about half of the herd didn’t have access to adequate food and water.

Official warns of equine influenza

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s state veterinarian is warning horse owners to take precautions after the equine influenza virus was diagnosed in several horses returning from out-of-state events.

According to the state Agriculture Department, equine influenza is highly contagious. The virus is spread by contaminated stable equipment and infected, coughing horses.

Interim State Veterinarian Doug Balthaser said in news release, “it is much easier for horse owners to take preventive measures than to provide treatment.”

Balthaser recommends maintaining good hygiene with stable equipment and vaccinating horses. He also recommends isolating newly introduced horses or those returning from events for two weeks.

Symptoms of equine influenza may include fever, nasal discharge, cough, loss of appetite and weakness. Sick horses cannot directly infect people with equine influenza.


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