BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Washington farmer accused of animal abuse has pleaded not guilty.

The Bellingham Herald reports ( ) Seth Snook, who is accused of starving his cattle and pigs for six months, pleaded not guilty on Friday.

Snook was charged in April with five counts of animal cruelty. According to court records, investigators found starved animals, as well as carcasses of cows and pigs at Snook Brook Farms in Ferndale.

Officials recovered the remaining living farm animals. According to the charges, a pig later died after surviving on garage and dead animal remains.

Snook’s defense attorney said her client had to care for his wife and daughters on his own after his wife underwent cranial surgery. The situation made it hard for Snook to manage the farm. An upcoming hearing is scheduled for May 19.

Information from: The Bellingham Herald,

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