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Calf found butchered in Janesville pasture

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Marcia Nelesen
May 13, 2014

JANESVILLE—The owners of a Milton cattle company are on alert now that one of their calves was found slaughtered, the meat carried away and the carcass left behind.

The calf's mother was found bellowing near its offspring.

An owner said the act, reminiscent of old-time cattle rustling, is bizarre and unusual.

Ochs Cattle, 1527 N. Tarrant Road, Milton, owned the animal.

The calf, weighing about 400 pounds, was found slaughtered at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday in a field near the intersection of Beloit Avenue and Elliott Street on Janesville's south side. The company rents the grazing land, which is known locally as Mule Hill.

The animal was shot with a small-caliber bullet, according to police reports.

The calf was bred for showing and valued at about $1,000. It was born in February.

The incident happened sometime between noon Saturday and the time the carcass was found.

“We've been in the business for a long time, and we have cows and calves all over the southern part of Wisconsin in various pastures,” Ron Ochs said Monday afternoon.

Ochs and his son, Dan, have owned the business for 15 years.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to us,” Ron Ochs said. “It is very distressing.”

He said he has also never heard of it happening elsewhere.

Ochs said the company has quite a few mothers and offspring at the grazing site, and someone checks on the animals daily.

“The calf was found in the middle of the field, and the mom was bellowing,” Ochs said.

“It was shot, and the animal was dressed out, like you skin out a deer,” Ochs said.

All the meat was gone.

“We don't know the motives—if it was a challenge, for fun, or if there was a need,” Ochs said.

“But whatever it is, it's wrong,” he added. “It's an expensive animal. It's distressing.”

Ochs said company personnel will now be on high alert, and they are beefing up patrols.

“You just kind of wonder, 'Why?'” he said. “It's hard to put your head around it … It's private property. These animals belong to somebody, and for somebody to go hunt them … ”

Ochs hopes that someone with information about the killing will call police.

“I'm anxious to find out about who did this,” he said. “They ought to be brought to justice.”

If the company has more issues, it will be forced to ship the animals elsewhere.

Ochs Cattle owns about 250 beef cattle that it grazes all over southern Wisconsin.



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