BY MARY GARRISON
Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Mississippi Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Theft Bureau are investigating reports of a slain calf at a Clay County stocker operation.
According to Sheriff Eddie Scott, CCSD deputies responded to a call just after 7 a.m. to Bryan MERE farms on Highway 50 East, whereupon a 6-month-old black angus steer was found dead. The animal appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound to the neck, Scott said, though results of a necropsy are pending.
“We called in the ag investigator,” Scott said. “They’re a great resource to us, and look at everything from stolen livestock to stolen tractors. … He’ll take lead on this, and we’re going to fully assist in the investigation and prosecution of whoever is responsible.”
Sonny Jameson, owner of Bryan MERE farms, said he discovered the calf about 7 a.m. about 100 yards from Matthews Gin Road.
“It wasn’t dead yesterday,” Jameson said. “We check our cattle every night.”
Scott said if a suspect was apprehended in the matter, the responsible party would incur animal cruelty charges, though the level of severity would depend largely on proving intent.
“We’ve had folks get out deer hunting and hit one or something of that nature,” Scott said. “Regardless of intent or what action is taken, you hate to see a defenseless animal shot like that.”
It’s not a matter of small change, either. Responsible parties would be legally liable for the damages to the property owner, regardless of intent, Scott said.
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