Police Investigate Death Of 25 Cows In Locked Barn

Spanish Police who discovered 25 dead cows in a barn with the doors apparently locked from the inside, believe that they had been deliberately asphyxiated.

Farmers had left the herd contentedly grazing in a field in San Roque de Riomiera, northern Spain, just hours earlier on 30th July.

But when they returned to round up the beef cows, they were nowhere to be seen.

The horrified cattlemen eventually found them packed into a barn either already dead or close to it.

The cows, report local media, were found packed close together like sardines and had apparently suffocated.

Only three that had managed to breathe through a tiny floor-level open window were left alive.

Bafflingly, the bolt on the barn doors was locked from the inside and four of the cows had apparently been stabbed, say police.

Julian Velez from the Cantabria region’s Livestock Ministry said firefighters had needed breathing apparatus to get into the barn because of toxic fumes given off by the cows’ bodies.

112 Cantabria said in a statement that “firefighters from the Emergency Service 112 of the Government of Cantabria and firefighters from Torrelavega rescued three live cows from a cabin in Carcabal (San Roque de Riomiera), where 25 cattle have died.

“The Emergency Service 112 of the Government of Cantabria received a report of the presence of cattle, both dead and alive, confined in a stable minutes before 4pm on Sunday.

“Upon receiving the report, they dispatched emergency personnel from the regional service and agents from the Civil Guard to the scene.

“Upon arrival, the responders found a very complex situation, with nearly 30 cattle, mostly deceased, crammed into a small space with an unbreathable atmosphere and compromised sanitary conditions.

“Therefore, the 112 emergency centre requested support from the Torrelavega fire station and the provision of suitable equipment for the intervention. Personnel from the Regional Ministry of Livestock also arrived at the location.

“Using special suits and self-contained breathing apparatus, the 112 firefighters and municipal firefighters carried out a challenging operation to remove the bodies of 25 dead cows and managed to rescue three that were still alive at the bottom of the enclosure.

“A small window in the winter quarters provided them with oxygen.

“Today, the Ministry of Livestock will work on removing the animal carcasses, while the Civil Guard conducts the necessary investigation into the incident.”