Man charged with letting dead cow rot in field

MANSFIELD – Donald A. Brooks, 46, of 431 Bryant Road, was charged by the state Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health with improper disposal of dead animals for allegedly letting dead cow rot in his pasture.

According to documents filed with District Judge James Carlson, a complaint on March 7 to Domestic Animal Health Inspector Erin Ackerman reported that at least one dead cow had been in the pasture with live cattle for more than a week and the owner’s dogs were eating the carcass and dragging off body parts.

On March 12, officers spotted at least one carcass of a brown and white cow in the pasture, about 150 yards from the road. At least 20 other live cattle were in the field. A dog was eating the carcass, according to records.

About 48 hours later, the carcass still was in the same place.

On March 14, three Bureau of Dog Law wardens went to the address to investigate a dog law issue and confirmed the presence of the decomposing cow carcass.

Under state law, persons caring for or owning domestic animals that have died “shall prevent exposure of the carcasses to other living animals, domestic and the public, and shall dispose of the carcass within 48 hours after the animal dies.”

Officials said Brooks failed to comply with that law. He was issued a summons to appear at a May 1 preliminary hearing.