June 24, 2014 10:36 am

UPDATE: Missing cows mystery solved

The Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit was searching for 59 cows believed to have been stolen. The investigation later revealed the a clerical error was to blame. June 12, 2014.

Supplied by RCMP

EDMONTON – A clerical error is to blame for a case of missing cows in central Alberta.

Earlier this month the Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit said 59 heifers had been reported missing by a farmer near Czar, a small town about 300 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

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A monthly headcount revealed they were gone. A ground and air search turned up nothing, leading police to believe the cows may have been stolen by someone familiar with cattle wrangling.

Police notified livestock markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C., but the cows didn’t turn up.

The next step was to compare their radio frequency tags with the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency’s records, which involves manually scanning each cow on the farm. Before undertaking the labour-intensive task, the owner was asked to check his records again. That’s when the farmer discovered he had made an error.

Through the course of the police investigation it was discovered that while 59 heifers were missing, the same number of steers were bought. The owner realized he had put in the numbers twice and the heifers had never been stolen.

 “Police investigations go where the facts lead us. In this case the facts led us back home,” said Corporal Dave Heaslip of the Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit.

“Although he feels pretty bad, I phoned him a couple times and told him not to worry about it, it’s just a mistake and it worked out for the better.”

With files from the Canadian Press

© Shaw Media, 2014

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