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      Expert: More of SC ag official's horses starved

      One of the 45 horses seized from Trexler's property earlier this year.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A forensic report on horse remains found on property managed by a former South Carolina agriculture official's family indicates that some of the animals likely starved to death.

      Forensic veterinarian Melinda Merck says she examined the bones of at least half a dozen different horses excavated from two properties managed by James Trexler's family.

      Merck said in a report released Thursday by the South Carolina Humane Society that bone marrow fat levels in the skeletal remains were low enough to show the animals died of starvation.

      Trexler was an assistant agriculture commissioner. He, his mother and his brother were charged with ill treatment to animals earlier this year after malnourished horses were found on their property.

      There was no answer Thursday at a number listed for James Trexler.

      (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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