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Farmer charged with animal neglect after dozens of cows found dead

Joseph Brunner
Joseph Brunner

CHILTON, WI (WTAQ) - A 50-year-old farmer has been charged with animal neglect in Shawano County after authorities found dozens of dead cows on his property.  Authorities were called Friday about “a strong smell of rot” and “large flies” coming from Joseph Brunner’s Town of Belle Plaine property.  The criminal complaint says Brunner told authorities the cows were sick with pneumonia and chronic wasting disease. 

The cows started to died in November and continued to die off until early March.  Brunner told authorities that when there were only a few animals left, he stopped feeding them. 

Brunner was released on a $10,000 signature bond and has promised to work with authorities.  The judge ordered Brunner to dispose of the cow carcasses in the next 72 hours and that he cannot have direct care of animals, even pets.