Livestock and cattle crimes include specific offenses: theft, killing, bestiality, and abuse. In 17th-century New England, colonies kept cattle, oxen, sheep, and hogs. Livestock were crucial to the production of agricultural goods; without these animals, it was nearly impossible to successfully farm, sell, trade, and even survive. Livestock crimes reported during the 17th and 18th centuries included theft, killings, and bestiality.

Accusations of livestock theft in New England were brought against both neighboring colonists and Native Americans. Livestock often broke through fences and strayed onto other ...

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