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Georgia Man Arraigned In Cruelty To Animals Case

CONTACT: Cindy Maguire, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5512

June 17, 2010

Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that Christopher Gaudette, age 37, of Georgia, Vermont, has been arraigned in the Grand Isle District Court on animal cruelty charges in connection with an investigation into the operation of Bushway Packing, Inc. Mr. Gaudette has been charged with two counts of cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor, and one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony. The Court imposed conditions of release that Gaudette not leave the State of Vermont, check in weekly with the Grand Isle Sheriff's Department and that he not have any involvement with the handling and/or processing of livestock.

According to papers filed in court, the charges against Gaudette stem from the alleged excessive shocking of calves being processed by Gaudette at the Bushway Packing plant. Following a complaint by the Humane Society of the United States, which had employed an undercover operative to film conditions at the plant, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, and Food Safety Inspection Service, conducted an investigation, which resulted in the filing of criminal charges against Gaudette and Frank Perretta, age 57. Law enforcement officials have been unable to locate Perretta, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The misdemeanor charges each carry a possible sentence of not more than one year imprisonment and not more than $2,000 in fines, and the felony charge carries a possible sentence of not more than three years imprisonment and not more than $5,000 in fines.

The Bushway Packing plant is no longer in operation.

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