Politics & Government
12:55 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Cattle farmer from the Upper Peninsula charged with animal cruelty

According to John Barnes of MLive.com, a cattle farmer who has "the state's highest number of reported wolf attacks" was charged with animal cruelty.

John Koski is from Bessemer, in Ontonagon County in the Upper Peninsula. He was charged with a misdemeanor, which is "punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine." His hearing is on December 17.

The charge involved Koski's treatment of "guard donkeys." Three guard donkeys were provided to Koski by the by the state to protect his cattle. Donkeys are used because they aren't afraid of canines and have a "powerful double-hooved kick."

Koski is accused of "neglecting two  donkeys provided by the state that died. A third was removed from the farm because of ill health, officials said."

More from John Barnes of MLive:

Since 2010, Koski has had 96 cattle killed in verified wolf attacks on his Matchwood farm in Ontonagon County. That's more than half of the 158 cattle killed or injured in the entire Upper Peninsula for the period used to establish Michigan's wolf hunt.

Koski has collected nearly $33,000 in cattle-loss compensation from the state for that same period, more than all other farmers combined.

Barnes reports Koski was charged nine months after authorities were notified of the dead donkeys, and just two days after MLive's investigative report published on November 3rd.

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom