Written by Staff Writer
(CNN) — The owners of 60 cows located on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, Canada say that they found out they’d be forced to euthanize their livestock at the end of January.
Unfortunately for residents of one of the parched Western Canadian provinces, the cattle were already buried by 6 inches of flood water, when they decided to start the auction process in order to find their final resting place.
The cows are thriving at the local cattle auction, according to CBC.
Initially, the cows had been housed in a barn where they were protected from the rising waters. But as the water surrounding the farm grew, the water level of the cows’ tank began to spill over and into the surrounding area.
“Within a week and a half of having them in there, the water starting to cover the tank top and bottom and through the fence. That’s when the whole farm system is flooded, that’s when the entire farm system is overwhelmed,” Bruce Hinson, the owner of Anselm Farms, told CBC.
Around 70 cows were being housed in the barn before the flood, which happened on January 20. When the floodwaters have decreased, it’s hoped that the farm can once again house and feed the animals.
The auction: Anselm Farms is a dairy farm in rural Saskatchewan, near St. Albert. Their thousands of cows
Anselm Farms was subject to severe floods in 1988, which resulted in the removal of 2,000 animals in the southern Saskatchewan province.
Despite the tragedy, a few of the cows seem to be benefitting from the attention they’ve received after their owners made the difficult decision to leave them to die in a muddy ditch.
“We saw a few trickle back and they’ve got some little loamy grit on them, they’re looking pretty good,” auctioneer Karl Boas said.
In the meantime, the owners of the cows are “seriously in touch” with the Ministry of Agriculture. They “don’t think we should be responsible for this,” Mafsab Ogara, the farmer who manages the farm, told CBC.
In many parts of Western Canada, droughts and floods are becoming part of the starker realities of farming in the early winter. According to the Canadian government’s federal agricultural data, about a third of Saskatchewan’s land area is now in drought.