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State Announces Plan for Dozens of Goats Seized Following Animal Cruelty Investigation

Department of Agriculture

The goats were taken in January from the Butterfield Farm Company in Cornwall. They were said to be malnourished with many suffering from a number of highly-transmissible diseases. Now, the state has announced a plan to manage the herd of 96 animals that fell into state care following an animal-cruelty investigation.

"In terms of the scale, we've never seized a herd this large," said Steve Reviczky, the state's agriculture commissioner. "But often times there are individuals who just don't posses the animal husbandry skill necessary to farm or care for livestock. In those cases, when we become aware of abuse or neglect, we act to rectify it. In the end, the individuals responsible for this are going to be held to account in a court of law."

The owners of the farm are now facing dozens of animal cruelty charges. Reviczky said the diseases made it hard for the goats to be reintroduced into healthy herds.

Under a plan announced this week, 48 of the goats will go to a livestock auction where they'll be sold and slaughtered for their meat. Twelve will be placed at animal rescue facilities. And 23 kids born following the January raid will be offered to agricultural schools.

Reviczky said thirteen disease-free goats will be auctioned for later use on farms.

The animals were rehabilitated at York Prison in Niantic under the direction of the state veterinarian. Total costs for taking care of the animals was estimated at around $42,000.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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