Dead Cows in Pond Cause Concern

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SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY -- On a piece of land just outside of Montrose, neighbors say just a few days ago, there was an upsetting sight in the pond.

"In the pond itself were dead cows. Not just a couple of dead cows, but six dead cows," said Koni Worth of Bridgewater Township.

Worth was driving along Squiers Road and saw the dead cow carcasses and took photos.

Farmer Will Squier owned the dead cows, and says they wandered into the pond on his father's farm in the middle of the night this past January. When he arrived, there was nothing he could do.

"There were six heifers out in the middle of my dad's pond through the ice already dead. They had evidently gone in the night before, they had walked out on the ice," said Squier.

State law requires that all domestic animal carcasses be properly disposed of within 48 hours, but Squier says throughout the tough winter, that just wasn't possible. The cows were only pulled out this week after the pond thawed.

"To get them out was going to be a risk to ourselves, and I just thought the damage is already done, they're frozen, we're just going to leave them there until we can get them out in the spring," said Squier.

Farmers say even though the cow carcasses were stuck in the pond since January, that the cold weather kept them frozen, and stopped them from decomposing until now.

But some neighbors say the carcasses should have been removed sooner.

"You know to see that, or to the environment the wild life, to have to live with that, I mean seeing those geese there, they didn't look very happy. They're sharing their pond with some dead cows," said Worth.

But Squier, who has farmed for decades, says this unfortunate situation was just as difficult on him as it was for any neighbors. "We did the best we could, we feel worse about it than anybody else, I can tell you that."

Newswatch 16 did contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Their field team is looking into the issue to make sure the carcasses were properly disposed of.