Ranchers in British Columbia are complaining that someone is going around shooting their cows and carving out select cuts, leaving the bulk of the corpses behind. The thirst for red meat has become so bad that RCMP Corporal Trevor Tribes has placed the body count over the past few months at six cows in the Lumby, Lavington, and Cherryville area—a value of around $20,000 [$15,000 USD].
One rancher, Jeremy Wasylyszyn of Cherryville, is offering a $10,000 [$7,600 USD] reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of the beef-obsessed cow killer. He described to CBC how, within the window of about two and a half to three hours, he had seen a female cow and her calf alive and well, then returned to the same area to find the tenderloins of both animals removed.
"Two strips of meat on either side of the spine," Wasylyszyn told CBC. "They've cut them out of the cow and the calf… I think they totally had intentions of taking more, but I don't think they realized how much traffic was on the road."
Wasylyszyn's cows weren't the first targeted by the hangry killer. Two cattle were found on Coldstream Ranch in the North Okanagan region earlier this fall cut in half, the hindquarters completely removed.
Cattle thievery is an old-time tradition for meat-hungry criminals in Western Canada and the US Southwest. The Western Stock Growers' Association in Canada increased the reward for catching cow thieves 5,000 percent in 2012 due to the massive number of cattle stolen each year: around 6,000 in the prairies alone. Last year in Texas, where you're allowed to shoot to kill if someone has robbed you and is fleeing from your property, 5,800 cows were stolen—a value of $5.7 million [$4.3 million USD].
One wonders what kind of dish the BC cow killer was so desperate to make that they worked up the moxie to murder another man's livestock and hastily hack off meat from the bodies—perhaps they just wanted to get the freshest cut possible for a lonely candlelit dinner of a creamy stroganoff complete with sautéed cremini mushrooms and onions, accompanied by a nice chianti.
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