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Gazette Staff

Thursday, July 19, 2001

Man in court on cattle theft chargeA Billings man is accused of selling cattle belonging to other people and failing to pay the owners their share of the proceeds.

James Brad “J.B.” Farley, 41, is charged with two counts of felony theft and two misdemeanor counts of failure to ensure a livestock brand inspection. Farley, of 1615 Johnston Lane, appeared Wednesday in Justice Court and was released on his own recognizance.

According to court documents, Farley sold 76 steers belonging to a Cheyenne, Wyo., man and 98 cattle belonging to a local cattle company and told investigators that he “spent the money.”

In both cases, Department of Livestock investigators determined that Farley had agreements with the cattle owners to be involved with feeding the livestock, either through caring for the animals or providing their feed.

Farley told investigators that he had sold the cattle, but refused to say where or to whom, at one point telling investigators “he had gotten himself into this mess and he would get himself out,” according to the affidavit.

Investigators learned that three of the Wyoming cattle were sold last October at Public Auction Yards in Billings and had both Farley and the Sheridan man’s brands. Prosecutors said that Farley did not have permission to sell the cattle and that Farley was paid $1,606 for the sale.

Hay fire controlled at PAYs WednesdayBurning hay lit up the Public Auction Yards early Wednesday morning.

Flames from the hay were shooting several feet higher than the nearly 7-foot fence surrounding the lot at 1802 Minnesota Ave., Billings Assistant Fire Marshal Ted Warren said.

A passer-by reported the fire just before 3 a.m. after seeing flames.

Firefighters cut a hole in the fence to access the burning hay bales, which weighed about one ton each. A front-end loader was used to move some of the bales so fire crews could get better access to the burning bales.

Warren said the fire could have started by spontaneous combustion. Yard employees, who arrived shortly after fire crews, said there were cattle mixed up inside the yards and were suspicious of the cause of the fire, Warren said.

Damages are estimated at about $7,000.

ZooMontana leads study on contraceptionZooMontana’s Science and Conservation Center in Billings has established the first population-level study of African elephant immunocontraception aimed at preventing culling in small game reserves throughout Africa.

Based on the success of an earlier four-year study in Kruger Park, porcine zona pellucida contraceptive vaccine was administered to 18 adult female elephants at Makalali Private Game Preserve in Hoedspruit, South Africa, in June 2000. Those elephants received boosters in 2001.

The preserve’s elephant population has a total of 57 animals, which were moved there earlier in the last decade. The preserve is concerned about the genetic viability of such a small population and the loss of genetic diversity if animals are removed from the herd.

The goal of the project is to stabilize the herd’s population size by 2003.

The vaccine is prepared at ZooMontana’s Science and Conservation Center and delivered to the elephants by dart from the ground. The project is being conducted in collaboration with personnel from the Kruger Park and funded by the Elinor Patterson Baker Trust and the Humane Society of the United States.

Plans are under way to begin treating small populations in two additional parks in South Africa and Kenya later this year.

Copyright © 2001, Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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