According to a press release from the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association – an organization representing ranchers in our state – there have been two reports of missing and butchered livestock in Sioux County near the area of the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“The NDSA and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Department are working with other law enforcement agencies to investigate two cases near Cannonball, N.D.,” the release, which you can read in full below, states. “One involves a dead saddle horse, four dead cows and more than 30 head of missing cattle. The other involves three dead bison. In both cases, some animals appear to have been butchered.”
The Stockmen’s Association is urging anyone in the public with information about these incidents to contact NDSA Chief Brand Inspector Stan Misek at (701) 223-2522 or (701) 720- 2430 or Sioux County Sheriff Frank Landeis at (701) 854-3481. The NDSA has a standing $14,000 reward for anyone providing information leading to the arrest of someone for stealing, butchering or shooting cattle, horses or mules in the state.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]”The first case took place in a pasture right beside the protest camp,” she told me.[/mks_pullquote]
I spoke last night with Julie Ellingson, the executive vice president of the organization, and she said things are tense for ranchers in the area of the protests.
“The first case took place in a pasture right beside the protest camp,” she told me.
“We had a lot of commotion around here today,” she added, referring to protest activities yesterday which resulted in 14 additional arrests. “One neighbor was told by protesters ‘you better watch your cows’ when they were irritated he wouldn’t move his hay mover out of the way so their caravan could pass by.”
“It is a very serious situation around here,” she said.
Two weeks ago Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, while appearing on my radio show (audio here), had some tough words for protesters who have made life difficult for farmers and ranchers in the area of the pipeline construction.
“It is irresponsible of the media to portray this as peaceful,” Goehring told me of the protests.
He said farmers and ranchers in areas even as far way as 20 or 30 miles from the protests are feeling “frustration, fear, anxiety, and tension.”
“It’s just like living down in an area that seems like a battle zone,” he said.
He said he’s spoken to farmers and ranchers from the area who have sent their children to live in the Bismarck/Mandan area during the protests because they don’t feel safe. He said ag producers are having troubles harvesting their crops or tending to their cattle because of the protest activities and the law enforcement response they provoke.
In one instance he said he spoke to a farmer who lives 20 miles away from the main protest area who had a protester chain himself to a light pole in his farm yard.
“This is terrible,” he said.
Here’s the press release:
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