Vermont Goatkeeper in trouble
- here is a sad story of someone who evidently had good intentions, but
allowed his initialy-admirable pacifist principles to engender
rampant over-crowding and subsequent misfortunes.
its a grim example of what can happen to well-meaning individuals
(and their caprine charges) who are isolated from Goat-Friends-type
community resources and basic care information...
BOSTON (Reuters) - A Vermont man could face animal cruelty charges if
state authorities find that he failed to care properly for 130 goats
he moved into his house during the bitter New England winter, police
said on Monday.
Chris Weathersbee said he took the goats, mostly nursing mothers and
their young, from his 300-strong herd into his farmhouse to shelter
them from the cold last month. But authorities say there could be a
case for animal cruelty.
Police and members of the Central Vermont Humane Society seized 44
goats deemed too sick to remain in Weathersbee's care. Some were
inside the house and others were in a nearby barn.
During the February raid, Vermont State Police officer Walter Goodell
said he also saw the frozen bodies of several goats strewn on the
farmhouse's front lawn.
Weathersbee, 63, of Corinth in central Vermont, said he refused to
get rid of his goats for fear they would be slaughtered, something
that his observance of certain Buddhist principles does not allow.
"I am not permitted to kill things," he said.
"We are considering criminal charges but are waiting for a report by
the state certified veterinarian," Goodall said.
"We are not professionals at dealing with goats so we need an
objective, professional opinion on the condition of the animals,
which is our primary concern," he added.
A decade ago Weathersbee said he planned to start a goat cheese farm
with three goats. Since then the herd has exploded to 300 and while
he said he fed them all well, some contracted diseases.
Representatives of the humane society could not be reached for
comment but the group's Web site said it is "exploring the
possibility of adopting out some of the goats into homes which do not
already have goats."
Weathersbee said he would go on a hunger strike if the state took
more of his goats away.
Goat Farmer May Face Cruelty Charges
Tue Mar 30,2004