I am saddened about the loss of livestock discovered in south central Iowa a few weeks ago. I don’t know the person(s) in charge of the herd, but I can only imagine their devastation felt.
When I read the charges brought up, a few things came to mind. We experienced another growing season that was, at times, hotter and drier than ideal. Both hay fields and pastures suffered. Then by the time the hay needed to be fed, unseasonable precipitation may have made it difficult to feed (frozen product).
With bitter cold and drifted snow, access to feed and water may have been difficult, resulting in animals “going to pieces” quickly in such conditions.
And how could carcasses be disposed of in a timely manner? Piling and burning wouldn’t work. Also it would be difficult to dig a hole in frozen ground to bury them, and to have a rendering company haul them off would take considerable time and money.
It was indeed a tragedy, but possibly not criminal.
This is just my take on the situation.