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Afton farm forced to dump milk, says cows were injected with antibiotics

AFTON (WBNG) — A local dairy farm is asking for your help after not only losing milk it produces, but also its income.

Back in October, the Palmetier family says it found out 21 of their 40 cows at their Oak Hill Farm were infected with an antibiotic.

They say they think someone injected the cows and months later it is still impacting the family’s finances.

“At holiday time it makes the dollars short and it will be a little different Christmas this year than usual,” said Maryann Palmetier.

Since the milk transport company was unable to accept the milk, large amounts had to be dumped.

Palmetier says her son, who is in charge of operating the farm on her property, is working on rebuilding.

“It will take him, I’m sure several months to gain back the money you know with the lost production we had with the milk and so on,” said Palmetier.

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office is heading the investigation.

“We’re being told that these cows are still very hot. A high concentration of an antibiotic in them. And they’re different cows that are getting it,” Sheriff Ernest Cutting said.

Sheriff Cutting says it was determined to be penicillin.

“Farmers periodically will, if a cow has an infection, mastitis or something, they may inject the cow with penicillin to aid it in recovery,” Cutting explained.

The family says there are still three or four cows affected after the initial report, when antibiotics typically clear in three to five days.

“This has been ongoing over five or six weeks, you know,” said Sheriff Cutting.

The family says whoever did this would have had to go inside the barn in the back of their house.

“The cows aren’t being secured so we don’t know who what where, when this is happening,” said Sheriff Cutting. “You know, that’s concerning. I would think if it was happening to me, I would take steps whether it’s cameras or locks or something to try and prevent this from happening.”

Palmetier says she just does not understand why someone would do this.

“For somebody to just come in and destroy something that’s so important to him, it hurts. It really hurts,” she said. “I really can’t understand it because anyone who knows a farmer knows a farm is part of his life. A farmer lives and breathes farming.”

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office says it will follow up on any leads that come in, but at this point investigators say they have looked into everything they can.

If you would like to help the Palmetier family, you can visit their GoFundMe page by clicking here.

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