Grand Larceny Bovine

Vegan Takes Cattle into Protective Custody, Sends Owner Feed Bill

Victoria G Myers
By  Victoria G. Myers , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
No one knows how these two head found their way to Asha's Farm Sanctuary, but they caused a huge uproar in rural New York state. (Photo courtesy of New York State Police)

A hot case just wrapped up in New York state. Police there arrested the president and founder of Asha's Farm Sanctuary, Tracy Murphy, for grand larceny after cattle belonging to an area cattle producer wound up on the property.

The owner of the cows, Scott Gregson, told the state police he did not know how the two ended up on sanctuary property. He had an electric fence in place, which was undamaged. He stated in reports there were no signs of a break-in at the operation, McKee Farms. Yet, there they were, and of all the places to wind up, it appeared the two bovines had somehow wound up at a no-kill animal sanctuary.

Things went sideways when Murphy, a vegan, asked about purchasing the cattle. This discussion apparently did not go well. Gregson wanted his cattle back, so Murphy said she was taking them into "protective custody." She proceeded to give Gregson a bill for boarding each animal for 10 days at $100 per day, plus property damage she claimed they caused at $54 each. Total charges were over $2,000. The state police tried to work with Murphy to get the animals returned, but she insisted she did not want them to be at risk of slaughter.

Niagara County, where the trouble took place, saw actual protests outside of the animal sanctuary, as people in the community showed up to both support and to oppose the return of the cattle. Troopers, working with the SPCA, retrieved the animals and have since returned them to Gregson. Murphy was arrested for grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony in the state.

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Victoria Myers