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Published May 18, 2010, 08:51 AM

Colorado rancher accused of neglect may lose cattle

DENVER — A Park County rancher faces having his cattle taken from him if he is found to be an unfit owner.

DENVER — A Park County rancher faces having his cattle taken from him if he is found to be an unfit owner.

State officials say they seized 300 cattle from Vernon Wagner’s ranch near Hartsel after they found 100 dead animals and other severely malnourished cattle. A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday in Park County District Court to determine if Wagner is an unfit owner.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture says the Park County sheriff’s department is con-ducting a criminal investigation.

The department says there are an estimated 800 to 1,400 cattle on Wagner’s ranch.

Wagner told The Denver Post that he is good to his livestock and believes the investigation stems from an ongoing land dispute with nearby residents.

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