Moohem in Quebec: How out of control cows are wreaking havoc on this Canadian town

Moohem in Quebec: How out of control cows are wreaking havoc on this Canadian town

Moohem in Quebec: How out of control cows are wreaking havoc on this Canadian town

Around 20 cows in Quebec’s Saint-Severe municipality are on the loose and authorities are having a hard time containing them. They are not mad cows; they are just lost.

The group of cows, according to local media reports, have been at large since July and as of now, they are still roaming freely.

But the cows have been creating a menace in the tiny Canadian hamlet. According to Montreal CTV News, the cows have caused damage to crops worth $20,000.

Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture (MAPAQ) has asked citizens to not approach or touch any cow that might come in their way.

The ministry said, “This is an exceptional event, the evolution of which may require additional actions.”

Let’s take a closer look at the turn of events.

How did the cows escape?

Saint-Severe’s Mayor Jean-Yves St Arnaud said that in July, the 20 cows, mostly heifers – young cows that have not yet bred any calves – broke free from a dairy farm in Saint-Barnabe, which is about 5 km away from Saint-Severe. The cows jumped over a fence after they got scared during a thunderstorm.

The Mayor said that the cows have not been contacted by any human ever since and are visibly scared after arriving at a strange land. St Arnaud said according to a report by Al Jazeera, “We’re not talking about a cow that is wild; we’re talking more about a cow that’s agitated, that’s anxious, that doesn’t know much about human beings.”

“When it became concerning for us was as soon as they got out of the woods and came towards private homes. They were also going near young people, children, crossing the street … it became dangerous,” he added.

The owner of the cows, a fellow named Pierre Lapointe, told a local news outlet called Le Nouvelliste, that he needed a month to try to get his cows back to his dairy. He also said the 20 cows are a part of a herd of 200 others.

Since their unwelcomed arrival at Saint-Severe, the cows have been consuming unharvested corn and water from nearby streams. But as winters approach and with most of the local harvesting being completed, the cows wouldn’t be able to find food this easily, which will likely make them more anxious and scared.

The village’s municipal manager Marie-Andrée Cadorette said during an interview with Radio-Canada said, “They had an all-you-can-eat buffet all summer. But now as we speak, the harvests are done. There isn’t much left to eat … it’s really an emergency to recover them.”

News reaches Canada’s Senate

News this interesting is hard to miss and so it has travelled to the gates of Canada’s Senate.

According to Montreal Gazette, Senator Julie Miville-Dechene mentioned the fugitive cows and the tale of Saint-Severe during one of her speeches in the Senate chamber.

She said, “Honourable senators, usually, when we do tributes here, it is to recognize the achievements of our fellow citizens. However, today, I want to express my amused admiration for a remarkably determined herd of cows.”

Dodging by the fact that the cows have caused monetary damage to people in the village, Miville-Dechene said that there is a political lesson to be learned from this episode.

“Finally, I would like to confess my unbridled admiration for these cows that have found freedom and are still out there, frolicking about. While we overcomplicate things, these cows are learning to jump fences,” said the Senator as she ended her speech.

What are authorities doing to capture the cows?

Cadorette has been trying all her luck to contain the animals for a very long time now. She even reached out to cowboys who, on the night before Halloween, got on the back of their horses, equipped themselves with drones to locate the cows and set out on a cow hunt.

They were even able to find the cows but as they almost managed to round them up, the animals broke free through a cornfield.

Recently, MAPAQ informed us that they have deployed a team of experts to formulate a plan with other partners to address this issue immediately.

In a statement, the ministry said, “Facing a complex and unprecedented situation, the ministry firstly is accompanying the owner who has said he wants to recover his herd.” At the same time, authorities said that the well-being of the cows should be kept in mind when they are being recovered.

Union of Agricultural Producer’s local branch said that the plan is to strategically position feeders in different areas to lure the cows and then capture them “when the time comes.”

The Union said, “We primarily have two concerns in this situation: making sure the animals are in good health (and remain so during the course of the operation) and that the animals don’t end up on public roads. Until then, the order of the day is: patience. It will take time, but we will keep you informed when the operation is completed successfully.”

With inputs from agencies

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