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Amy Dalrymple, Published March 12 2009

Edgeley man faces 21 charges in horse mistreatment case

A rural Edgeley, N.D., man is scheduled to appear in court today for 21 criminal charges of mistreating horses.

Richard Musland is accused in LaMoure County District Court of depriving horses of proper food, water, shelter and adequate care.

In late January, authorities confiscated about 35 horses and two donkeys from Musland’s farm and placed them in protective custody after several horses were found dead.

Musland is charged with 21 counts of mistreatment of animals, which are Class A misdemeanors.

Court records say:

Between last September and Jan. 21, Musland deprived 21 horses of adequate care.

Eight horses were found dead, some found under piles of snow. Authorities did not know the sex and breed of two of the dead horses.

Three later had to be euthanized. The other 10 horses were given a body condition score on a scale of 1 to 9. They had scores between 1 and 2.5.

The surviving horses were placed in county custody for the time being under a ruling issued by Southeast Judicial District Court Judge Daniel Narum.

Musland is summoned to make his first court appearance today. He did not return a call seeking comment.

Kimbery Radermacher, La-Moure County state’s attorney, was not at work Wednesday and was not available for comment.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590