Police investigate pile of dead cows on western Wisconsin farm

Authorities say stray electrical voltage may have killed some of the animals.


By John Reinan, Star Tribune (MN) 

May 10, 2019


Authorities are investigating the circumstances behind the deaths of 20 to 25 cows found on a western Wisconsin farm and speculate that some may have been killed by stray electrical voltage.


Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Friday that an Xcel Energy worker investigating the voltage issue on a farm near Almena discovered the cows last week and reported them.


“It basically was a pile of cows,” Fitzgerald said, estimating there were about two dozen dead animals, some of them partly decomposed. “He saw the pile and said, ‘This doesn’t look right.’ ”


Fitzgerald said the cows had died over the winter for various reasons — illness, harsh winter conditions and possibly, stray voltage. The farm owners had planned to bury the animals, but had been waiting for the ground to thaw.


The farmers are fully cooperating with the investigation and no charges are expected, Fitzgerald said, adding that he didn’t know if the cows were dairy or beef cattle.


Other cows on the farm...