The outbreak began on KV Bar Ranch about June 12. John Shine, the owner of the south-central Oregon ranch, said the steers “just started dying.” That afternoon 11 died, and the rest followed within 72 hours. Although Shine is the ranch owner, the cattle lost belonged to another rancher.
“We had a reservoir that cattle have been drinking out of for 60 years, and never had a problem. Then this breeze comes from the north and carried this layer of scum 3 to 4 feet from the edge and that’s what they were drinking. We noticed the cattle had blue legs,” Shine said. “We thought it was poison at first. We didn’t know what it was.”
The color and the smell were the most noticeable things to Shine.
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