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A Crime Spree Spreading Faster Than Hoof-and-mouth

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A message to all you urbane Boiseans who think cattle rustling is an historical relic on par with syphilis and scalping (bad examples): You'd better go round up a posse-there's a heifer-heist afoot.

According to a write-up in the Rexburg Standard Journal, cattle theft, vandalism and illegal slaughter are on the rise in southeast Idaho. Rancher Bill Luthy told reporters he finds dead and/or missing cows almost every day. Another rancher said he lost 25 pairs of cows and calves last year alone, and found another seven shot. This year's first case of bovicide-most-foul was just discovered last week, prompting the ranchers to enlist the aid of Madison County Sheriff's Office.

"By the time we get notified, it's been a while," explained Sheriff Roy Klinger. Klinger added that the public is usually a better resource than deputies for catching rustlers, and as such, the department is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the rounding up of the culprits. The local Fremont-Madison County Cattleman's Association recently stepped up its pasture patrols (read: naptime) from twice a week to every day in the hopes of catching the dirty devils red-handed. In some states, Mississippi for example, cattle rustling is a crime that is still punishable by hanging. In Idaho, the culprits could face numerous theft charges.