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Farmer denies animal cruelty charges

PENDLETON COUNTY, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- A Pendleton County farmer accused of starving horses says he's the victim of harassment and has done nothing wrong.
Larry Browning is facing 15 counts of animal cruelty and 49 counts of failing to dispose of carcasses after state police raided his farm Monday afternoon.  Investigators found 49 dead horses on Larry Browning's farm Monday and confiscated 15 emaciated horses.  That's what led to the charges.
Browning is unfazed.  He says he's done nothing wrong and can explain everything.  Tuesday there was hay scattered on Browning's farm and the horses had access to fresh water in a creek.  There are about 25 horses still on his property and Browning says he plans to keep three or four of them and sell the rest.
Browning says some of the carcasses were his horses but most of them date back to the previous owner, a veterinarian who lived there up until the early 1980's.  He claims that many of the starving animals were dumped on his farm without his knowledge.  Browning says his neighbors will attest to the fact that he keeps hay out for the horses and does not starve them.

Obviously, law enforcement disagrees.  But Browning says the reason he's in trouble Tuesday is because Pendleton County recently hired a new animal control officer. 

"It's his first big case and  he wants to make an issue out of it.  In my opinion he don't know a thing about a horse.  All he knows is they got four legs and a tail is what I told him.  He's just wanting to make an example.  Make a big deal out of it," Browning told us.

I spoke with Scott Pracht, the animal control officer who said he got a complaint of a dead horse, went out and took some pictures, got a search warrant and found 49 horse carcasses.  He says the facts support the charges and are not harassment.
Plus, this is not the first time Larry Browning has been investigated for animal cruelty.  Larry browning will be in court on the charges April 15th.

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