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Jun 2, 2010 8:32 PM by David Ortiviz, News First 5

Rancher loses seized cattle but keeps rest of herd

A Park County rancher has lost more than 300 cattle that state agriculture department workers seized from his property near Hartsel, but he is keeping hundreds of others for now.

Colorado Department of Agriculture staff seized 379 cattle from Vernon Wagner in May after finding 140 dead cows on his property. Department officials described other cattle as emaciated.

A judge ruled at a hearing last month that the state could sell the seized cattle but that Wagner could keep the remaining herd.

Wagner's lawyers said Wagner managed about 1,200 cattle for himself and others before the seizure. Wagner's lawyers had argued that given the difficult winter, the cattle were in reasonable condition.

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