After a weeks-long battle, Tracy Murphy of Asha’s Farm Sanctuary in Newfane, New York, was arrested on Tuesday on charges of grand larceny in the third degree, according to authorities.
Scott Gregson, the owner of Mckee Farms, finally has his cattle back after a warrant was issued and executed for Murphy’s arrest and the retrieval of the animals. Animal-activist Murphy was transported to SP Lockport for processing and remanded to Niagara County jail for arraignment.
Murphy told 7 News, “I had plenty of evidence that shows they were my cattle the day I went over there, and I didn’t have evidence at that time, so she told me to leave,” Gregson says. “And I was trespassing, so once she refused to give me my cattle back then, that’s when I called law enforcement.”
Murphy’s attorney reported to the news station that she is being held at Niagara County Jail. The sanctuary owner is claiming that her rights were violated. The attorney is still clinging to their claim that the animals shouldn’t have been returned in violation of Lien Law 183.
Murphy’s lien on these cattle included charges for damaged bales of hay and a $100 per day per animal charge for “boarding” the cattle.
According to prior reports from the Union Sun & Journal, Asha’s Farm Sanctuary, located less than a mile from Gregson’s property, reported the stray animals to the local Niagara County SPCA on July 16, the same day Gregson reported them missing. In a video she posted, Murphy states, “We are a sanctuary, we don’t want to hand over animals that are going to go to slaughter.”
Trooper James O’Callaghan reported that Murphy’s claims about how she ended up with the animals don’t add up. Though she claimed the cattle wandered onto her property, Gregson’s electric fence was working, fencing was intact, and all gates were shut when the steer and heifer disappeared.
Murphy also tried to say that there was never any indication that Gregson was the owner of the cattle, despite him saying that the livestock had ear tags. Spectrum News reported that two former sanctuary employees said there was at least one identifying ear tag in a calf’s ear that disappeared. Murphy, however, claims that there were never any ear tags.
In a photo from Asha’s sanctuary, it was readily apparent that the black heifer had a tag hole in its left ear.
The entire incident galvanized locals since mid-July, with many people taking to the streets crying out for Asha’s to “release the beef.”
Gregson’s family and kids are glad to have their cattle back. And, as for Murphy — she’s awaiting arraignment.