$40,000 reward offered in Stutsman County large-scale cattle death case

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 12:26 PM CDT
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STUTSMAN COUNTY, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Stutsman County Sheriff’s Department and the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association are asking for the public’s health in solving a case involving dozens of dead cows. The agencies announced a reward of up to $40,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible.

The announcement came at a press conference at the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center on September 1st, where Major Jason Falk, an investigator with the sheriff’s department, detailed the case.

58 pregnant cows owned by Brian Amundson of Jamestown, N.D., were discovered dead on July 29th in a pasture leased for grazing on the Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge. Of the 80 surviving cows, at least 15 have aborted their calves.

Investigators say the deaths do not appear to be from natural causes. Dr. Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist, said that lightning; anthrax; blue-green algae; clostridial disease; lead poisoning; lack of water; and naturally occurring nitrate toxicity were ruled out as factors.

Major Falk said the case could be connected to two separate fires on the Amundson ranch in April that destroyed over 2,000 bales, valued at nearly $200,000.

$14,000 of the reward comes from the NDSA’s standing reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of livestock criminals. The remaining funds are coming from the Amundson family.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Department’s tip line at (701) 251-6232. You can also contact NDSA Deputy Brand Inspector Fred Frederikson at (701) 290-3993, or Northrop at (701) 390-2975.

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