Livestock Pits For Dead Cattle Open In Western SD - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Livestock Pits For Dead Cattle Open In Western SD

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Another October snowstorm is expected to bring up to a foot of snow to the Black Hills of South Dakota.
    
The weather is threatening to complicate a soggy mess for ranchers still trying to recover from a storm that dumped as much as 4 feet of snow on the region a little more than a week ago.
    
State officials estimate as much as 20,000 head of livestock and maybe more were killed. Ranchers are being encouraged to bring the carcasses to two 20-foot-deep disposal pits opened Monday. Rules require the dead animals to be burned, buried to a depth of 4 feet or disposed of by a licensed rendering plant within 36 hours of death.
    
But the executive director of the Stockgrowers Association says pastures are saturated by the quickly melting snow, making it difficult for ranchers to traverse the vast terrain to assess losses. Silvia Christen says the priority for many ranchers right now is taking care of the stressed animals who made it through the storm.
    

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