An investigation is underway into the deaths of around 200 cattle – including cows and calves –near the village of Chaplin.
The cattle were discovered dead on July 7 in a 23,700-acre pasture operated by Shamrock Grazing Ltd. under the terms of a Crown lease.
A veterinarian was sent to examine the animals, collect samples for laboratory analysis and send several of the dead and surviving cattle to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for further evaluation.
On Monday, the province said preliminary test results indicate the suspected cause of death to be dehydration and possible salt toxicity.
The water source is a dugout, which the province noted may have become unsuitable for livestock watering due to evaporation and the resulting concentrations of sale in the water.
The province said further testing will take place.
Around 240 cow-calf pairs survived. The animals were immediately moved to a different field in the pasture with a safe and secure water source.
Producers are reminded that cattle need be checked regularly, as often as possible in hot and dry conditions, and to ensure the quality and quantity of their livestock water sources.
Producers with any questions regarding livestock water requirements are encouraged to contact their local Ministry of Agriculture Regional Office or the Agricultural Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.
An investigation into the death is ongoing in co-operation with the local patrons and the province of Saskatchewan.
Chaplin is located along the Trans-Canada Highway between Moose Jaw and Swift Current.