Goat owners may face charges after dead animals found at Cornwall farm

CORNWALL, Conn. (WTNH)– The Department of Agriculture says it is investigating after finding at least 20 dead goats at a local farm on Friday.

It happened at Hautboy Hill Farm. The owners of the goats rent space there. They’re the ones being investigated, not the owners of the farm. Officials say they are looking into animal negligence. The whole investigation started when animal control went to the farm in December after getting word that the goats were poorly treated.

The Department of Agriculture says they seized 74 goats last week. Right now, those goats are at Second Chance Animal Rehabilitation Facility in Niantic.

A search and seizure warrant describes the conditions and why animal cruelty charges may be brought against Tara Bryson and Michael Hearl, who own The Butterfield Farm Company. According to that company’s website, they sell goats’ milk body products.

Two very healthy goats are pictured on the site’s home page, but that is not what a state inspector says he found at the farm on December 22nd. The search and seizure warrant states “…he could see three dead goats inside the barn. He also observed a sick goat gasping that expired in front of him.”

The next day inspectors found 35 goats crowded around a hay feeder. The warrant says they were “emaciated, weak, and shivering,” with one in the same spot as the day before “unable to sit sternal, bend its neck, lift its head or bend its extremities, and had a locked jaw.”

Inspectors also “found 10 dead baby goats in five grain bags inside the door located next to the milking parlor,” according to the warrant.

A total of 22 goats were found dead on various parts of the property.

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