Cows killed, mutilated on Hall County cattle farm

"It's a serious situation," Kathy Cooper told the AJC. "In your mind, you don't think someone would do that."

Kathy and her husband, John, have lost more than 20 beef cows during the past year on their 200-plus acre farm in Flowery Branch. They have not yet determined how the animals were killed. But after the cows are killed, their udders and genitals have been removed, Kathy Cooper said.

"They don't leave blood or anything," Cooper said. "It's almost like a surgical cut."

The couple estimates they have lost at least $10,000 of income due to the lost cows, many of which would have been able to have several more offspring.

Shortly after finding the cow Monday, the couple took it to the veterinary school at the University of Georgia to have a necropsy conducted. But often, the animals have been dead too long once they are found for investigators to determine a cause of death, Cooper said.

In May, when seven cows were killed in one week, veterinarians said one of the animals had been poisoned, but couldn't identify what type of substance was used, Cooper said.

More than 200 cows roam the pasture of the Flowery Branch farm that has wooded areas, and when the animals are killed, they aren't in open areas, making them harder to find. The dead cows have been found in wooded areas or gullies, rather than in open pasture.

"We don't see them for a few days, and then you'll start smelling them," Cooper said.

The Hall County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the animal deaths, and a reward is being set up for information leading to the conviction of whoever is responsible for killing the cows, Cooper said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hall County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division at 770-531-6879.

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