Quantcast

Allegations of animal abuse in Bakersfield - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Allegations of animal abuse in Bakersfield

Posted: Updated:
BAKERSFIELD, Vt. -

Thirty-nine beef cattle in Bakersfield got a surprise visit from police and state officials Friday. They responded to a pasture on Joyal Road after the town constable called with allegations of abuse.

"Well, there's one dying and we walked the perimeter and there's absolutely no water," said Jim Billado, the Bakersfield constable.

A local livestock vet examined each animal and told police a few were thin and one needed to be euthanized on the spot due to hypothermia. According to state law, cattle owners are required to provide adequate access to food, water and shelter. The vet said these cows lacked all three.

"Digging for blades of grass under two feet of snow is not feed. Snow is not considered a water source. Trees are considered a shelter, but they don't have access to any of the trees," Dr. Rick Bartholomew said.

"I don't need someone badgering me for no reason and I consider this close to badgering," said Gary Barnes, who co-owns the cattle with Todd Brown.

Barnes and Brown say one of them tends to the herd every day, moving them from field to field to ensure they can forage for feed.

Todd Brown: They've basically eaten down probably five acres worth of 17-inch tall grass. It's got three feet of snow on it, so they have to work for it, but there's a lot of grass here still.

Reporter Jennifer Reading: Why not just give them hay at that point?

Todd Brown: Because it's expensive feed.

Plus these farmers say winter grazing yields better beef and prevents their cows from standing in their own feces. Although they admit the practice is controversial, they don't believe it's abuse.

"The conventional way is to barn the cow up, is to spend thousands of dollars for the hay in the barn, so you can spend thousands of dollars hauling (feces) out all winter," Barnes said.

"I'd like to see these animals taken from this guy. He doesn't deserve to have them," Billado said.

Barnes told police he plans to move these cows to a farm, but would not say where. In the meantime the case is being referred to the state's attorney's office.

Jennifer Reading: What is your reaction that you could even face a criminal charge in this?

Gary Barnes: I find it unbelievable. Unbelievable when I look at all the abuse that actually does go on. I don't consider my animals abused at all.

There's no timetable for prosecutors to wrap up their investigation.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Vt. police treat toddler's death as 'suspicious'

    Vt. police treat toddler's death as 'suspicious'

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:42:04 GMT
    A toddler died Tuesday morning under what police call suspicious circumstances.
    A toddler died Tuesday morning under what police call suspicious circumstances.
  • NH town hopes for answers after missing teen returns

    NH town hopes for answers after missing teen returns

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:19 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:19:49 GMT
    Residents of a New Hampshire town who searched, prayed and held vigils for a 15-year-old girl who disappeared while on her way home from school nine months ago are relieved she's returned, but they want to know...
    Residents of a New Hampshire town who searched, prayed and held vigils for a 15-year-old girl who disappeared while on her way home from school nine months ago are relieved she's returned, but they want to know what...
  • Cabot man turns self in in St. Johnsbury shooting

    Cabot man turns self in in St. Johnsbury shooting

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:42:13 GMT
    Police say a Cabot man wanted on a charge of attempted murder in a drive-by shooting in St. Johnsbury has turned himself in.
    Police say a Cabot man wanted on a charge of attempted murder in a drive-by shooting in St. Johnsbury has turned himself in.
  • Location set for Allen Prue trial

    Location set for Allen Prue trial

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:53:55 GMT
    A final location has been determined for the trial of Allen Prue.
    A final location has been determined for the trial of Allen Prue.
  • 3 arrested in burglary-shop-drug scheme

    3 arrested in burglary-shop-drug scheme

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:22 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:22:03 GMT
    Vermont State Police have arrested three people stemming from numerous burglaries from homes and selling them to a consignment shop in exchange for drugs.
    Vermont State Police have charged three people in connection with burglaries at several homes in which the stolen items were swapped for drugs at a consignment shop.
  • Fire destroys Alburgh home

    Fire destroys Alburgh home

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:22:25 GMT
    Fire tore through a home in Alburgh last night.Firefighters responded to a house fully engulfed in flames at 16 Wagner Point. 
    Fire tore through a home in Alburgh last night.Firefighters responded to a house fully engulfed in flames at 16 Wagner Point. 
  • Air defense drill for 4 Northeastern states

    Air defense drill for 4 Northeastern states

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:57 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:57:27 GMT
    The New York state Division of Military and Naval Affairs says a two fighter jets from a Massachusetts Air National Guard unit will be conducting an air defense exercise over parts of four Northeastern states.
    The New York state Division of Military and Naval Affairs says a two fighter jets from a Massachusetts Air National Guard unit will be conducting an air defense exercise over parts of four Northeastern states.
  • Vt. sues Dollar Tree over tainted jewelry

    Vt. sues Dollar Tree over tainted jewelry

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:23 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:23:02 GMT
    The state of Vermont wants Dollar Tree stores to stop selling jewelry tainted with toxics.
    The state of Vermont wants Dollar Tree stores to stop selling jewelry tainted with toxics.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.