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Cow Controversy Draws Reaction Around The Country - Washtenaw County Sheriff's Spokesman Explains

Jan 5, 2018

A longhorn steer.
Credit National Park Service

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department first issued an alert that a cow was on the loose in a residential neighborhood in Ann Arbor Township Thursday afternoon.  It turned out to be two steers, headed to be butchered that escaped from the vehicle in which they were being transported.


The two steers were estimated to weigh between 1200 and 1500 pounds.  The owner said they were aggressive and could be dangerous to the public, and she wanted them contained.

Derrick Jackson
Credit Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department

Eventually the steers were captured, and the owner decided they should be put down and did not want them taken to an animal sanctuary.  

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department spokesman Derrick Jackson says he has received calls from across the country from people who were concerned about what happened to the animals.  He says he has spent a lot of time talking to people individually explaining exactly what happened.

He says this was not a situation about "hunting" but more about public safety, and it was the owner who decided, since they were headed to be butchered, they should be put down when finally captured.

Jackson says no sheriff's department staff had anything to do with the animals once they were captured and their fate was in the hands of their owner.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu