“We do not yet know all of the details about the tragic loss of animal life in Madison County this week. We are just now learning about the conditions under which the owners kept their animals.
“Luckily, a local farmer sensed something was wrong and immediately reported his suspicions to local law enforcement so swift corrective action could be taken. The Indiana Board of Animal Health, the local Animal Protection League and the law enforcement agencies involved are to be commended for their rapid and professional response to a sad and potentially dangerous situation.
“Indiana Farm Bureau does not condone the actions or support the husbandry practices that have led to this unfortunate incident. Responsible farmers do not allow this kind of situation to go on without seeking help. We encourage all farmers to take advantage of the professional expertise available to them to address health problems with their animals.
“One doesn’t get into the livestock business lightly. In most cases livestock farmers, regardless of species and herd size, receive specialized training and education through high school ag programs and college courses in animal science, nutrition and animal well-being. Finance and accounting acumen is necessary, and marketing know-how is a must in order to operate a well-managed farm.
“Above all, true livestock farmers’ most important attribute is that they care about the health and well-being of their animals.
“This tragic event in Madison County should act as a stark reminder that those who own or care for animals of any kind have a moral obligation to provide proper food, shelter and veterinary care for those animals.
“The Madison County Farm Bureau has made a donation to help the Animal Protection League with some of the costs of caring for the surviving animals. Anyone who’s interested in donating can do so through the Animal Protection League’s website, www.inapl.org/ .”