Livestock owner found guilty of animal cruelty
On Feb. 25 after a two-day jury trial in Logan County Court, Gilbert Dean Schuman was found guilty on 14 charges of animal cruelty. Sentencing in the case will be held on March 30.
On March 15, 2010, the Logan County Sheriff's Office, acting on information by the public, executed a search warrant at 11515 CR 37 in Logan County. During the search, approximately 79 bovine carcasses were located on the property in various stages of decay.
Several of the carcasses were located in a livestock pond on the property and others were under mounds of hay. In addition, many of the cattle found alive were in poor body condition. Sixteen head of cattle were taken to the Sterling Livestock Commission Company because their immediate welfare was in question.
During the search of the property, Schuman, of Schuman Cattle LLC, was contacted and taken into custody. Schuman was charged with 16 counts of cruelty and held on a $5,000 bond.
Dr. Keith Roehr, state veterinarian, said, "The Colorado Department of Agriculture is pleased with the court's ruling. We have spent a significant amount of time and effort working with the Logan County Sheriff's Office investigators to provide a safe atmosphere for the cattle that Mr. Schuman should have been caring for. The court's decision is a warning to all that abuse such as this will not be tolerated; my outrage is shared by Colorado's livestock owners who consider the care and welfare of their cattle a top priority. I would like to thank the Logan County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's office for their perseverance in this case."
Any time animal cruelty charges are brought against a Colorado livestock owner, industry organizations monitor the situation. The following organizations also commented on the case:
Colorado Cattlemen's Association: "The Colorado Cattlemen's Association has been in existence since 1867 and for those 143 years we have committed ourselves to protecting the interests of our ranching families and the cattle they raise," said Tim Canterbury, CCA president. "We carry this very commitment forward in asking that swift and decisive judgment be made toward anyone who breaks the bond between rancher and cattle through outright abuse."
Colorado Farm Bureau: "Colorado Farm Bureau roundly condemns reprehensible practices like those exposed by the Bureau of Animal Protection," said Alan Foutz, president of Colorado Farm Bureau. "All farmers and ranchers are morally obligated to care for their livestock. They work every day to ensure they are using the most up to date practices to protect the well-being of animals in their care. We would like to thank the Bureau of Animal Protection and the Logan County Sheriff's Department for their help in ending practices that are inconsistent with industry and ethical standards."
Colorado Livestock Association: "The act of compromising the health and well-being of livestock is unacceptable to the members of our industry" stated Steve Gabel, president of Colorado Livestock Association. "Livestock producers have the ethical responsibility to provide the highest care for all animals."
The Bureau of Animal Protection program investigates over 12,000 reports of animal cruelty and neglect annually in Colorado. Species investigated in fiscal year 2008-2009 include:
--Dogs: 9,543 (78 percent of all investigations);
--Horses: 1,588 (13 percent of all investigations);
--Cats: 688 (6 percent of all investigations); and
--Cattle: 38 (.3 percent of all investigations).
For more information or to file a cruelty or neglect complain, visit www.colorado.gov/ag/animals and click on "Bureau of Animal Protection."