Pa. Officials Investigating Dairy Cow Deaths

8/3/2013 7:00 AM

Pa. State Veterinarian Craig Shultz confirmed this week that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is investigating the recent deaths of a number of cows on a Pennsylvania dairy farm.

People who know the farm say the cows’ owner is Lon Gates of New Enterprise, Pa., and that more than 20 cows have died.

Reached by phone, a family member said the family had been advised by its attorney not to comment on the matter.

Shultz said the state Bureau of Animal Health had been investigating the deaths for several days and additional tests were under way. He said it would take a while before the process is completed.

“We don’t have a specific cause right now,” Shultz said, adding that “at this point, we haven’t identified a dangerous transmissible disease.”

The investigation is ongoing, he said, and involves “lots of testing and lots of people.” Assisting the state is Dr. Robert Van Saun, a professor of veterinary medicine at Penn State and an expert in ruminant nutrition.

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