TEWSKBURY, MASSACHUSETTS, USA – NEWS AND COMMENT: The words in the title are those of Vilmaria Maldonado who treats three six-month-old goats as pets on the Oliveira Farm. The problem is they were allegedly imported into the state of Massachusetts without an interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. And Massachusetts has an agreement with the federal government via the USDA to slaughter animals under that situation. Therefore, they have demanded that Vilmaria kills all her pet goats within 72 hours. As she loves them as pets, she said that it is like somebody asking you to kill your cat or your dog.
They were bought from a person prior to an auction directly from a trailer. David Oliveira (I presume he owns the farm) said that he bought the goats for Maldonado. He wanted to cheer her up because she was having a tough time. She is due surgery soon for a narrowing of her airway. The goats had been evaluated by a veterinarian and vaccinations in May in Ipswich by SRIH Veterinary Services according to him.
In the meantime, Maldonado said that she will refuse to kill the goats and the authorities in reply have said that if she doesn’t kill them the farm could be shut down and fines imposed. They may also commence criminal proceedings against the farm.
Comment: either this is a case of a breakdown in communication between this farm and the authorities or the farm has not truly carried out its obligations. It seems that they bought the goats from a person who knew they were due for slaughter.
The former can be rectified by some more communication and the only way to rectify the latter would be to take the goats out of Massachusetts I would have thought. Thats if they want to save their lives. That may not satisfy the authorities because they say a “slaughter only” order is absolute and it cannot be rescinded.
I’ve just noticed that Oliveira purchased the goats down the road from a livestock auction and market exchange in Littleton which “primarily sells animals for slaughter only”. When the inspectors asked about the goats and who he bought them from he said that he couldn’t remember. That sounds smelly and therefore I suspect that he is in violation of state laws. The goats will be killed sadly.
SOME MORE ON ANIMAL LAWS: