Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Blizzard Kills 80,000 Cattle in S. Dakota

Posted by feww on October 14, 2013

6,000 SD ranches lose 80,000 cattle to early-autumn blizzard

Some 6,000 ranching operations have suffered catastrophic losses from a statewide snowstorm in South Dakota, the country’s 6th largest state in livestock production, with nearly 4 million head of cattle.

Many parts of South Dakota reported record snowfall totals for the entire month of October over the weekend.

The massive snowstorm took ranchers by surprise hitting just days after 80-degree weather, and before they had a chance to move their herds from less-protected summer grazing lands, said a report.

“Thousands of head had been recently relocated here from Texas and New Mexico to escape punishing droughts in those states.”

Up to  20 percent of all cattle were killed in some parts of the state, said Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

“Some ranchers lost all their cattle. They’ve yet to find one alive… They’re facing absolute destruction,” she said.

Many ranchers worry that with the federal government shutdown, they’ll receive no compensation for their catastrophic losses.

“A lot of the government agencies that we would normally be turning to for those answers are furloughed. So there’s this sort of timing issue that’s enhancing the frustration out there in cattle country.” Jodie Anderson, executive director of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association said.

animal die-off SD
Bloated carcasses of 80,000 head of cattle, some huddled in groups, litter miles upon miles of South Dakota grazing lands. Many ranchers worry that with the federal government shutdown, they will receive no compensation for their catastrophic losses. (Image Source: via Xinhua). More images…

Die-off Double Whammy

“The most immediate concern is proper disposal of the dead livestock, which state law says must be burned, buried or rendered within 36 hours — for the health not only of surviving herds but also for people,” said a report.

“That can be a significant source of disease spread, so we want to make sure those carcasses are burned, buried or rendered as quickly as possible,” South Dakota’s state veterinarian, told reporters.

In addition to tens of thousands of calves being killed, thousands more cows that would have delivered calves next year also died in the blizzard, said South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, warning that the effects of catastrophe would be felt for many years to come.

“And the stress of the storm will leave its mark on surviving herds, the South Dakota State University Agricultural Extension Service said, leaving the remaining cattle vulnerable to ruinous diseases with names like infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine respiratory syncytial virus and bovine viral diarrhea virus.” The report said.

south-dakota cattle die-off -A cow carcass lies partially buried in snow in South Dakota, strung out along field fences with her black hooves poking up. (Butte County Sheriff’s Department/ October 7, 2013 via LATimes.)

One Response to “Blizzard Kills 80,000 Cattle in S. Dakota”

  1. critical observer said

    what makes this disaster even more painful is the fact that it went unreported by major news outlets for 5 days. LA times carried the story on October 11, 2013 (7:29 PM PDT) about 5 days after the catastrophe. (Google listed the news shortly after.)
    Reuters finally published the story on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 4:52pm EDT, about 16 hours after Fire-earth blog (October 14, 2013 at 04:48UTC).

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