Weld County ranchers warned about radical group that may try to free farm animals | TheFencePost.com

Weld County ranchers warned about radical group that may try to free farm animals

Joe Moylan

The Colorado Cattlemen's Association has issued a warning to its Weld County members about a radical group based in Greeley that might try to free animals at local ranches, feed yards and dairy operations.

The organization, known as the "Greeley Cow Savers," has a history of protesting packing plants, cattle haulers and meat retailers, the alert stated. Information gleaned from the organization's Facebook account suggests it may be recruiting participants to release animals from farms and ranches in the LaSalle area.

"We debated back and forth about whether or not to issue the alert because we don't know how credible the organization is," said Paula Waggoner, director of communications for the Colorado Cattlemen's Association. "The only thing I could find was their Facebook page and the content falls somewhere between the truly disturbing and the really, really weird."

The Cattlemen's Association is recommending local ranchers be vigilant about their surroundings and to immediately report any suspicious activity to the Weld County Sheriff's Office by calling Weld County Dispatch at (970) 350-9600 or by simply dialing 911.

"It's just a precautionary measure and we issued the alert to make sure our membership is cognizant of it (the threat)," Waggoner said. "It's a fairly disturbing concept to get people to go out to cattle operations and turn cattle loose."

The sheriff's office is aware of the alert and has dealt with similar threats in the past, said agency spokesman Cpl. Matt Turner.

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"A lot of groups focus on businesses, but there's always a chance a farmer can become a target as well," Turner said. "If you see anything suspicious, contact us so we can get out there and contain the situation as quickly as we can."

Last week, about one dozen animal rights activists protested in front of the JBS meatpacking plant at 8th Avenue and 5th Street. But Turner doesn't think those protesters and sympathizers of Greeley Cow Savers are cut from the same cloth.

"Those folks did it the right way — they informed us of the protest, they stayed within their time limit, they cleaned up after themselves and they followed the rules," Turner said. "That was an example of a very peaceful protest.

"We're never about restricting people's rights, but we have to make sure it is done safely and no one gets hurt."

Report suspicious activity immediately

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association has issued an alert to its Weld County members about “Greeley Cow Savers” and information that the local radical group may attempt to free animals at farms, ranches and dairy operations in the LaSalle area.

Suspicious activity should be reported to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office by calling Weld County Dispatch at (970) 350-9600 or by simply dialing 911.