"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">RITTER –

Authorities have seized 10 cows and calves from a Ritter-area ranch

that were believed to be the property of other ranchers.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Grant

County Sheriff Glenn Palmer said the cattle were seized Tuesday,

Jan. 18, from the ranch of Vega Nunez, 63. Two of the 10 were

subsequently identified as Nunez’ and will be returned, he

said.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">However,

authorities are still checking the ear tags and brands of the

others, and seeking records from the Oregon Department of

Agriculture (ODA) and area ranchers who are missing animals. DNA

testing may be required to determine the ownership of some of the

animals. 

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Palmer

said the seizure came after he and Oregon State Police Trooper Marv

Ritter began investigating recent reports that branded cattle

belonging to area ranchers had been seen on adjoining property. He

said the investigation determined that some of the cattle had gone

missing from their pastures as far back as 2007.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Palmer

obtained a warrant to search the Nunez property, and investigators

inspected numerous cows and calves. 

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">He said

the law requires ranchers who find stray cattle to try to notify

the lawful owners. If the owners are not located, the finder must

contact the ODA to complete ownership paperwork.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">State

police, the ODA and the Sheriff’s Office are continuing the

investigation. No arrests have been made.

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