The state Department of Agriculture is investigating the discovery of six dead cows in a pond in Susquehanna County, north of Scranton, Pa.
The Times-Tribune reports the cows reportedly wandered onto the ice-covered bond in January and fell through. When the farmer discovered them, they were already dead.
The cows were removed from the small body of water this week.
Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Nicole Bucher says state law requires that dead animals be disposed of within 48 hours, but that that didn't happen in this case.
The four ways dead livestock must be disposed of at either burial, incineration, rendering or composting, state regulators told the paper.
She says the agency's veterinarian visited the site this week and that an investigation is to be completed within the next week.
She says the farm owner could face a penalty including a fine of $100 to $300 per offense.