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Utah man charged after 46 cattle starve to death, others permanently impaired

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Utah man charged after 46 cattle starve to death, others permanently impaired. (File photo: MGN)

A Box Elder County man is facing one count of wanton destruction of livestock, a second-degree felony, after 46 cattle in his care starved to death, and numerous others were seriously injured or impaired.

Jeremiah Daniel Kingston, 29, of Washakie and the company Natural Choice, LLC are listed as defendants in court documents.

According to the probable cause statement, the defendants contracted to care for the victim's 585 cattle which included the responsibilities to "supervise supply of water to livestock, moving of livestock around pastures as needed and put forth reasonable efforts to minimize death, loss, and theft."

During the summer months in 2018, prosecutors say Kingston and Natural Choice failed to do so.

In fact, conditions became so "deplorable" that 46 died from starvation while:

Many were incapable of walking, numerous cows became unable to produce milk, and many have permanent physical alterations, impairments, or conditions that have ruined the breed line.

Prosecutors say the defendants were seen trying to hide the dead cows by dragging them into bushes and covering them with sticks and brush.

Local ranchers, the brand inspector, and other experts warned Kingston and Natural Choice "numerous times" about the condition of the cows and the inability of the land to sustain them.

Prosecutors say Kingston chose to ignore the warnings.

The value of the affected livestock is more than $300,000.

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