GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A trucking company owner and cattle raiser has testified against allegations of animal neglect that he and his son face in Wyoming.

David Love and his son are each charged with 27 counts of animal cruelty after authorities found a pile of dead animals on the property, The Gillette News Record reported.

David Love took the stand Wednesday and said he allows his cattle and horses to die of old age at the end of their rodeo careers out of love instead of taking them to a killing plant.

Love was working a job in Oklahoma when the animals were seized, but has no concerns leaving them with his son, who handles daily operations in Campbell County, he said.

Veterinarian Kyle Innes was called in to look at the animals and give body condition ratings in June and was “very certain” in his assessment that the animals weren't getting adequate care, authorities said.

Innes did not conduct physical exams on any of the livestock, but noticed some of the animals were showing their spine while others were in ideal condition, Innes said.

Assessments are subjective, but it is possible for an animal to be healthy despite having a low body condition rating, Innes said.

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