Illegal Slaughter of Livestock Near Protest Camps Exemplify Costs to Local Community

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate reports of cattle with gunshot and bow and arrow wounds this week on private property near the camps occupied by anti-Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.

According to Sioux County Sheriff Frank Landeis one cow was shot and another cow had two arrows sticking out of its ribcage.

The cattle discovered this week belong to the same rancher who reported finding two cows and a saddle horse dead on Sept. 27 and finding two dead cow heads in a pasture on Oct. 9, Landeis said. The cattle slaughtered on October 9th were butchered according to the rancher, who has also reported more than 30 head missing from his herd. Separately, three bison were also killed nearby.

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association announced over the weekend it has a reward of up to $14,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.

News of this most recent attempt at slaughtering animals on neighboring properties comes just after the manager of the camp kitchens indicated that protesters were running out of meat and supplies.

Destruction of private property has been rampant throughout the ongoing protests, and the burden of this destruction has fallen heavily on the local community surrounding the protest sites. As protesters destroy fence lines, degrade the environment by occupying large camps on grasslands, and possibly even slaughter privately held livestock, the livelihoods of the rural agricultural communities in Sioux and Morton Counties are imminently threatened.

Law and order must be restored and upheld. Local communities should not be forced to bear the brunt of these protests without sufficient security to safeguard their herds and land; the source of income for their families. Whoever is responsible for these inhumane acts toward valuable livestock should also be held responsible by the authorities for destruction of property, animal abuse, and poaching.