Animal Protection Services seize 131 distressed cattle, 16 more dead in Lampman, Sask.

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WATCH: Animal Protection Services says it's seen a 20 per cent increase in calls regarding the condition of cattle in Sask. due to frigid temperatures. In less than a month, hundreds of cattle were seized in two separate incidents, including one near Lampman. Katelyn Wilson explains – Mar 5, 2019

Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan (APSS) officers seized 131 cattle due to distress at a property just north of Lampman, Sask., on Feb. 28.

APSS said it received a call saying, not only did the cattle not have access to feed, but there were also dead animals on the property.

When officers showed up, they found 16 dead cows and said the majority of the herd was in poor condition.

The cattle belonging to Chad Mokelkey, are now in the care of APSS.

“Cattle are seized and are taken, in essentially what is protective custody, and delivered to a caretaker where they’re provided veterinary care and sufficient food, water and all the necessities they require,” said Don Ferguson, APSS executive director.

READ MORE: Charges possible after hundreds of ‘thin’ cattle seized from Saskatchewan farmer

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Once cattle are seized, Ferguson said the owner does have the right to get them back.

“They’re required to pay the cost associated with the seizure within a five-day period and they also have to rectify the conditions that resulted in the animals being removed in the first place,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said the owner has requested to reclaim the animals back and at this point, details and billing are still being worked out.

Global News did speak with Mokelkey, who said he is working with his lawyer to get the cattle back, but because it’s unclear if he will face charges, he doesn’t want to comment any further at this time.

READ MORE: Where’s the beef? Cattle rustling still an issue in Saskatchewan

The RM of Browning said it was made aware of the situation a few weeks ago after receiving several complaints of cattle at large.

“We were concerned about the health of the herd- of the herd in general,” Reeve Pius Loustel said. “One of our councillors looked into it and found out what was going on, so we started dealing with it through the Stray Animals Act.”

After exploring their options, the Reeve says council wrote Mokelkey a letter outlining what he needed to do to fix the situation, but he never responded.

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As for charges, Ferguson said it’s a possibility.

“Most of our cases that result in seizure, they also result in charges being laid,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson added the extreme cold the province experienced during February could have impacted the condition of the cattle.

“Any animals that were going into the winter that may have been under conditions, the extreme cold temperatures would certainly expose that,” Ferguson said.

READ MORE: Police say 21 calves stolen from property near Prelate, Sask., in ‘old-time crime’

“If they’re not provided with the sufficient feed required to maintain it, it doesn’t take long to quickly deteriorate in terms of condition.”

Ferguson said they’ve seen a 20 per cent increase in call volume regarding the nature of cattle around the province.

APSS also seized more than 300 cattle for similar reasons near Stoughton, Sask., on Feb. 13-14.

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