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State Vet: Blizzard Animal Losses Could Exceed 43K

February 12, 2014, 7:07 AM

State Vet: Blizzard Animal Losses Could Exceed 43K
PIERRE, SD -

South Dakota's state veterinarian says the number of livestock killed by an early October blizzard could total more than 43,000.

Dustin Oedekoven says ranchers reported about 24,000 lost cattle, sheep, horses and bison to his office. But officials with a relief fund set up to help ranchers have said that the more than 600 ranchers who have applied for aid have reported losses of about 43,000 animals.

Oedekoven says he believes reports to his office were lower for a number of reasons, including that some ranchers probably didn't feel justified in reporting their losses when their neighbors were hit harder.

The storm hit Oct. 4-5 first with rain and then with up to 4 feet of wet, heavy snow in western South Dakota.

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