After months on the run in Saint-Sévère, all the cows are back home
These are the last cows that were on the loose. They have returned to the fold and will remain in a barn to get used to life in a herd by next summer.
The last cows that had been running freely in the fields in Saint-Sévère for several months were repatriated on Saturday, indicates the UPA Mauricie. She says all the animals were returned to their owners 45 days after her teams became involved in the case.
On Saturday evening, the UPA teams proceeded to capture two cows and a calf in the pen installed to attract them using feeding points. Hidden personnel closed the gates of the enclosure after the last animals entered it, explained Jean-Sébastien Dubé, spokesperson for the UPA Mauricie.
We're glad it's behind us. This is a case that has grown much larger than we thought, he commented.
The UPA says the animals appear to be in good shape and the cows that have been back on the farm for a few weeks are adjusting well.
Their owner, Pierre Lapointe, a dairy producer in Saint-Barnabé, assures that the cows will be kept in the buildings so that they get used to other animals. He predicts that they will be able to return to the fields next summer once they have acclimated to fences and herding life.
The caution is required for the mayor of Saint-Sévère Jean-Yves Saint-Arnaud, who asked the UPA to leave the capture equipment on the site until Wednesday, the time to ensure that it there are no animals left in the wild.
Jean-Yves St-Arnaud, Mayor of Saint-Sévère
We had different figures, there are growers who saw 20, others who have seen 25, others 28 […] We will keep the enclosures for three days, then if with the cameras we can see that there are other animals, we will also recover them, he specified.
In retrospect, the first magistrate also believes that all the stakeholders involved in this case should have intervened earlier. According to him, there is a communication that has not been well established between the owner, the Municipality and all the stakeholders.
UPA Mauricie confirms that all animals are returned to their owner and that the operations are well and truly completed.
It indicates that an assessment of the capture strategy will be made and that a reflection will be carried out on communication between employees. The UPA thanks its partners and draws up a positive assessment of the intervention.
We each have our roles, then I think our role at the UPA is to really [do] the communications, the media and the operation as such as capture. The MAPAQ also had its role to play, the Municipality [of Saint-Sévère] too. I think everyone played their role well on that side, said its president Martin Marcouiller.
The agricultural organization mentions that the equipment used for the capture will be removed next week.
UPA Mauricie became aware of the situation last November. From then on, measures were taken to recover the bovids. At the end of November, an enclosure was set up with the aim of attracting them with food. The teams had anticipated that the animals would be forced to turn to feed from the paddock as corn in the fields became scarcer.
The UPA captured the cows gradually over the month of December, pledging patience amid harsh weather conditions.
In total, the UPA recovered 13 cows and two calves, which were born during the run. Last spring, 24 animals had fled according to the UPA Mauricie. They had escaped from a farm in Saint-Barnabé, Mauricie, after bad weather damaged their enclosure. The herd then found refuge in a forest in Saint-Sévère, the neighboring municipality.
Des animals seen in a field in Saint-Sévère at the beginning of December.
The presence of the cows then presented a safety problem for residents and motorists since the animals had found their wild state.
The authorities took turns throwing the ball at each other. MAPAQ could only issue statements of offence, and the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks claimed not to have jurisdiction in this case since the animals are in fact a breeding herd.
The SPA could not intervene either since they are not pets. Finally, the SQ could not support the intervention teams because the cows did not represent a danger for the population.
From then on, cowboys from the Festival western de Saint- Titus were called in as reinforcements, but in vain. The idea of the enclosure was finally retained and gradually showed positive results.
With the collaboration of Jacob Côté