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Slaughterhouse workers confesses to torturing calves

Posted on Nov 18, 2010 - 6:49 PM
Slaughterhouse worker confesses to torturing calves

Local News More>>N.Y. woman rescued after night lost in the woodsSlaughterhouse worker confesses to torturing calvesCats rescued in possible neglect caseProbable cause hearing in Pittsburg shooting rampageVt. woman wants comments out in mother's deathWoman charged in 3 Chittenden County robberiesPlattsburgh teens arrested in copper theftsBennington men charged in larceny investigationCambridge store damaged by fireAG to release bias-free policing policyGrand Isle, Vermont - November 18, 2010

Thirty-seven-year-old Christopher Gaudette of Grand Isle now admits he went way too far in his job at a Grand Isle slaughterhouse and tortured at least one calf. "Guilty," Gaudette pleaded in court.

"Do you want a jury trial on this matter?" asked Vt. Superior Court Judge Gregory Rainville.

"No, sir, I just want it over with," Gaudette replied.

The Vermont Attorney General's office and The Humane Society of the United States say undercover video taken inside Bushway Packing in the summer of 2009 showed Gaudette kicking calves and excessively jolting the animals with cattle prods, once even dumping water on a calf's head to make for a more painful zap from the electrical device.

"Vermonters were really outraged over this," said Deborah Loring of the group Green Mountain Animal Defenders. "We felt this didn't jibe with the way we Vermonters run our businesses."

Under a plea deal, Gaudette confessed to a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals. Two misdemeanor cruelty counts were dropped.

Earlier this year, slaughterhouse co-owner Frank Perretta pled no contest to animal cruelty and got a 1-year suspended prison sentence, a fine, and was ordered to perform community service.

Gaudette got a 1-3 year suspended sentence, and will spend 30 days on a state work crew. He's also barred from ever working with live animals again-- a move Green Mountain Animal Defenders praises. "Agriculture is such an important part of Vermont's business. We really need to keep the standards high. We need to be vigilant," Loring said.

After the hearing-- Christopher Gaudette declined our request for an interview, but said off-camera he was just following directions and ended up getting charged criminally.

Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell says he hopes the case sends a strong message that the state takes humane treatment of animals very seriously.

The slaughterhouse where this abuse took place is no longer operating.

Jack Thurston - WCAX News

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