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Cows Reportedly Forced to Dig Through Feet of Snow for Food, Lick Snow for "Water"
For Immediate Release:January 10, 2013
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
In response to reports that authorities are considering
bringing charges against two Bakersfield men for denying food, water, and
shelter to approximately 30 cows in a cruel attempt at what the men call
"winter grazing"—a controversial practice in which the cows remain
outdoors in the cold and snow with none of their necessities—PETA has sent an
urgent appeal for intervention to Vermont authorities, including the state
police and the Franklin County state's attorney. In the letter, the group asks
the authorities to require the cattle owners to provide the animals with adequate
food, water, and shelter immediately and, if the men fail to comply, to
confiscate the animals.
"We understand that these cows are suffering—and one
has already had to be euthanized because of hypothermia—since these men are too
cheap to feed, water, and house them properly," says PETA Senior Vice
President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. "PETA is calling
on Bakersfield authorities to take immediate action to protect these animals
before more freeze to death or succumb to starvation or dehydration."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to the
Vermont authorities follows.
January 10, 2013
To: Captain Glenn Hall,
A-Troop Commander, Vermont State Police The Honorable James Hughes, Franklin County State's Attorney
cc: Dr. Kristin
Haas, State Veterinarian, Vermont Agency of Agriculture
From: Kristin Simon,
Senior Cruelty Caseworker, PETA
Re: Bakersfield Farm
Your urgent attention is requested.
PETA is an international animal protection organization with
more than 3 million members and supporters globally,
including thousands who proudly reside in Vermont. Our headquarters has
received numerous calls of concern regarding
the plight of approximately 30 cows located on Joyal Road in Bakersfield. Reportedly, authorities responded to the cows'
location in December and discovered that the animals were being denied food, water, and shelter and that one
animal had to be euthanized on the spot because of he or she was in an extreme hypothermic
state (see http://www.wcax.com/story/20446161/allegations-of-animal-abuse-in-bakersfield).
We understand that the reported owners, Gary Barnes and Todd Brown, allegedly contend
that the cows should sustain themselves by licking snow for hydration and
digging through feet of snow in order to access what
grass exists beneath it (Barnes and Brown reportedly call this practice
Vermont § 352 states, "A person commits the crime of cruelty to animals if the person … deprives
an animal which a person owns, possesses or acts as an agent for, of adequate
food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, or necessary medical attention."
While the law provides exceptions for accepted animal husbandry practices, even
Barnes admitted to news sources that the practice of "winter grazing"
is controversial among farmers. While charges of cruelty to animals are apparently under consideration, official sources and local residents inform PETA that the situation remains unchanged, as the animals still lack essential
provisions as required by law and to maintain them in sufficient state of
comfort, safety, and health. Given the extreme
weather experienced by the region during the winter months in particular, we
join our callers in their concern for these animals' well-being.
PETA respectfully urges your offices to require Barnes and Brown to
immediately provide their cattle with adequate
food, water, and shelter as required by Vermont law and to confiscate the
animals if Barnes and Brown fail to comply. May we hear from your offices right
away regarding this urgent matter?
Thank you for your consideration.
Kristin SimonSenior Cruelty CaseworkerCruelty Investigations Department
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.