Lancaster farmer pleads guilty to leaving suffering sheep in field

Make no mistake, there is little picture postcard romance when it comes to the treatment of Lancaster County farm animals.

Tourists are pouring off the buses this holiday weekend looking for the "authentic" Pennsylvania Dutch experience, eating at smorgasboards, buying bucolic prints of horse-drawn plows and straw hatted children and taking buggy rides through farm country.

Reality is another thing entirely.

In a Lancaster courtroom last week a Ronks farmer pleaded guilty to leaving a severely injured sheep in a field after the sheep was struck by a motorcycle on busy Route 30, reports the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.

The sheep, a large ram, was left paralyzed from the collision. Its owner, Emanuel Beiler, discarded it in a field, according to officials.

Keith Mohler, a humane society police oficer with the Pennsylvania SPCA, said Beiler told him someone was to pick up the animal to be butchered.

A passerby reported the incident on Aug. 3. Mohler found the sheep in a field by the accident scene near Biehler's farm in the 2700 block of Lincoln Highway East. He later discovered the sheep had been in the field for more than 24 hours without any veterinary care.

"The sheep was still alive and in pain," Mohler told the newspaper. "I had to put it down."

Mohler charged Beiler, with a single count of cruelty for failing to provide veterinary care or humanely euthanize the animal.

Beiler, who is Amish, runs the Blue Gate Farm Market at his property.

For leaving the suffering sheep in the field he paid a fine of $240.50.