State Veterinarian Anticipates Livestock Deaths from Winter-Like Storm Into the Thousands

Snowy Country Road


PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) South Dakota’s State Veterinarian says his office has been gathering information on livestock deaths as a result of the early autumn storm that hit parts of western South Dakota.  Dr. Dustin Oedekoven says he anticipates that the losses of cattle and sheep will add into the thousands once a better count is available.

Although it will take some time to get a more thorough livestock loss count, Oedekoven says many of the reports that have come in so far are from northwest and west central parts of the state, with fairly substantial losses in counties like Perkins and Meade.  He says the heavy winds and snow resulted in cattle turning their backs to the wind and perishing in places where they settled.  He says with the wintry type weather hitting so early in the season, many livestock producers weren’t prepared as they would be later into the winter.

Oedekoven says although producers are still digging out from the storm, if they can contact his office with information on livestock deaths, it will help with the loss count.

Oedekoven also advises ranchers to start thinking soon about getting the dead livestock disposed of properly.

Oedekoven says it’s too early to compare the recent livestock losses to any previous cattle and sheep storm deaths, but officials should have a better picture in the coming days.

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