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Adams Township resolves its loose cattle situation

ADAMS TWP — Residents no longer have to look over their shoulders for loose cattle prowling their yards.

At a supervisors meeting on Monday evening, April 22, board chairman Russell Ford said the township had successfully corralled all of the cattle that had repeatedly escaped from a local farm and run amok for months. The cattle were taken to a butcher, Ford said.

“The reason we’re really happy is because it has been a much bigger problem over the last month than I think anybody is aware of,” Ford said.

The township had been working on the issue for at least a month, but poor weather delayed their efforts.

“With all the rain and everything, being able to load the cows and get them to the butcher was difficult,” Ford said.

The cattle belonged to a farm located in the northeast part of the township, near the border with Forward Township. According to Adams Township resident Joseph Honse, the farm’s elderly owner had been struggling to keep his cattle under control for several years.

“His health has deteriorated to the point that he is unable to adequately take care of his cattle,” Honse said. “The fencing needed significant repairs, and given the vast land that this farmer possesses, it's always way too much for a man of his age to take care of these cattle.”

Honse said although the cattle had been a problem for years now, the situation came to a head the last few months, with nearby residents reporting property damage from the loose cattle.

“The number of calls and the magnitude of the damage has increased significantly,” Honse said. “It was a menace to the community.”

Honse also said other options were explored beyond sending the cattle to a butcher, such as distributing the cattle to other farms.

“The consensus of several farmers was that it was an impossibility,” Honse said. “What it would do is cause the existing cattle of the farmer to follow suit with these feral cattle. It would create havoc in their herd.”

At one point, the number of cattle prowling Adams Township was as high as eight. By March 25, one was taken to the butcher. The last of the cattle was taken to the butcher just hours before the start of Monday’s meeting.

Ford credited the owner of the farm with being cooperative with the township as they tried to bring the cattle under control.

“(The farm owner) was very cooperative in every conversation we had with him,” Ford said. “He had no animosity. He understood the situation. He just needed help getting the situation taken care of.”

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