Llano County sheriff’s deputies charged a 41-year-old man with cruelty to livestock after they found a number of dead pigs in various stages of decay among living, malnourished ones.
Craig Bauman faces two counts of cruelty to livestock, a Class A misdemeanor. Bauman turned himself in on Aug. 20 and was booked into the Llano County Jail. He was released later the same day after posting bond.
The investigation began June 15 after deputies received a tip from someone who had been on the property, located in the 6200 block of Texas 16, and saw several live pigs penned with dead ones. The person had the landowner’s permission to be on the property.
When deputies Robert Nichols and Lt. Glen Williams arrived at the property, they discovered a number of dead pigs, including “piles of swine corpses along the south side of the pens in various stages of decay,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The deputies also located a 20-foot-by-20-foot pen containing 18 pigs but no water source or feed trough.
“Several of the animals appeared to be malnourished based on the visible ribs and bone structure of body through the skin,” Nichols stated in the affidavit.
Llano County deputies had contacted Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Ranger Mike Barr. The deputies and the ranger found more dead pigs and piglets in farrowing pens inside a barn.
Deputies identified Bauman as the owner of the pigs. The property where Bauman raised the pigs belongs to another person, who, during the investigation, deputies learned did not know the state of the property or the animals.
According to the affidavit, Bauman told investigators the pigs started getting sick in the winter from what he called “shipping fever.” He said he tried to give the animals antibiotics. When asked why there were dead pigs inside the barn, Bauman told investigators “he just closed the doors and left them in there to try to stop the spread of infection,” deputies stated in the affidavit.
As for the pigs found outside, Bauman said he opened the pens and turned them out to pasture.
Anyone with information regarding the case may contact the Llano County Sheriff’s Office at 325-247-5767. Tips also may be made through the Hill Country Area Crime Stoppers website or by calling 1-866-756-8477.