SACRAMENTO, April 19, 2006 – California Department of Food and Agriculture brand inspectors are working to identify the owners of a number of stolen calves recovered on April 18 in Riverdale, in southern Fresno County. At least 61 calves were stolen from farms and ranches in Kings, Fresno and Merced counties.
Following the arrest of the suspect in the case, 46-year old Pedro Ayala Ventureno of Riverdale, the calves were hauled to Overland Stockyards in Hanford, where they will remain until their owners can be contacted. Some calves have already been returned to their owners.
Ownership will be verified through brands, DNA matches and ear tags. Any unclaimed animals will be sold, with the proceeds going to the State of California.
Farmers and ranchers who are missing calves may contact CDFA Brand Inspector Richard Wright at 559-685-3505.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814