CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A water buffalo and her calf found abandoned by neighbors in Jackson County could be sold at auction to the meatpacking industry.
State Department of Agriculture spokesman Buddy Davidson said the water buffaloes were given a temporary place to roam at the agency's farm in Mason County.
"We're at a point now where we need to follow the law and sell these things," Davidson said. "And we need to do it in a legal fashion so that everyone has a fair crack at it."
No auction date has been set yet and Davidson isn't sure who's interested in the animals. The auction would be publicized well in advance, he said.
Davidson said the water buffaloes would be sold to the highest bidder, whether it's a farmer or a slaughterhouse owner.
"We can't put conditions on a buyer," he said.
Residents reported seeing two water buffaloes in the Evans area of Jackson County earlier this year. The buffaloes' owner apparently abandoned the animals from a nearby game farm. Neighbors said the animals were a nuisance, but didn't want to see any harm come to them.