STERLING, Colo. (AP) -- A judge says a Colorado rancher is unfit to care for cattle and ordered that 28 of his animals be sold at auction after authorities found 79 dead cattle on his property in March.

The Logan County District judge issued the order Wednesday after testimony from veterinarians and livestock experts. The Department of Agriculture says the animals died of malnutrition..

Ranch owner Gilbert Dean Schuman has said the accusations against him are "trumped up."

Schuman faces 16 animal cruelty charges.

State Agriculture officials seized 28 cattle from Schuman's ranch last month. Judge Douglas Vannoy ruled that the animals will be given to the state to be auctioned off. Vannoy also ruled that Schuman cannot own any more cattle until another hearing to determine his eligibility.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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