1,800+ dairy #cows dead due to #blizzard in #Washington State, #USA
An unexpected day-long blizzard has killed more than 1,800 dairy cows among dozens of farms in Washington state.
The snowstorm, carrying heavy winds ranging from 30 to 80 miles per an hour and resulting in 18 to 24 inches of snow, on Saturday devastated dairy farmers in the Yakima Valley, severely impacting their livelihood.
Since the region is typically arid, the dairy farms are built with open lots or open-sided shelters to house house the cows. In other words, since the region typically only gets six to eight inches of rain annually, cows are kept in shelters without walls, leaving them in blindsided without time or resources to prepare for the unanticipated brutal blizzard.
“Cows were huddled in, pressed up against each other in corners of pens and refused to move. Farmers couldn’t get them to move into milking barns. Herd instinct,” Gerald Baron, executive director of Save Family Farming, a farm advocacy group, told the Capital Press. “Most cows died from injuries from each other and some from cold exposure. They went down and couldn’t get up.”
Courtesy of independent.co.uk