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Investigation ongoing in Moville cattle deaths

By Staff | Dec 17, 2014

MOVILLE – An investigation continued this week into the death of 17 cows found last week in a small creek near Moville.

Dr. David Schmitt, an Iowa State University veterinarian, said on Dec. 12, however, that evaluation by the ISU Veterinary Diagnosis Lab of body samples taken from the cattle on-site show “no microscopic findings that would suggest inflammation or toxin exposure” in the evaluated samples.

While no fish kills or contamination of downstream water had been reported, additional testing for the presence of pesticides in the creek water possibly contributing to the deaths, is under way by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Schmitt said.

It is unknown, he said, when these study results will be available.

“Based on what we have seen thus far, it is looking more likely that the cattle deaths were caused by drowning,” Schmitt said.

He said the combined factors of a broken beaver dam near the creek and weather conditions – freezing and later melting ice on the creek – could have resulted in the cows going into deeper-than-normal water in the creek and being unable to get out.

The cause of the death in this case, he said, would be hypothermia.

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