State seal of the State of Vermont
The State of Vermont
The Office of the Attorney General




Home » Press Releases

Press Releases

Humane Society Awards Vermont Attorney General The 2010 Law Enforcement Award

CONTACT: Cindy Maguire, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5514

April 14, 2011

The Humane Society of the United States honored Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell and Criminal Division Chief Cindy Maguire at the Vermont Statehouse this morning with the Humane Law Enforcement Award for 2010 in recognition of the Attorney General’s work in the prosecution of former staff members of Bushway Packing Inc., a former slaughterhouse in Grand Isle, Vermont.

Commenting on the award, Attorney General Sorrell stated: “We are honored to receive this national recognition. So many Vermonters were outraged to learn how calves were being abused at the Bushway plant. I much appreciate the Humane Society’s work in bringing these actions to light and I hope that other slaughter operations take note: Vermont’s laws requiring humane treatment of animals will be strongly enforced.”

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. Based on the investigation, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office charged former owner Frank Peretta and former employee Christopher Gaudette with animal cruelty. Mr. Peretta received a suspended sentence of zero to one year, a fine of $2,000, was required to complete 120 hours of community service, and was banned from any further work with animals including any future right to participate in any animal husbandry or slaughterhouse activity. Former employee Christopher Gaudette plead guilty to one charge of aggravated cruelty to animals and received a sentence of one to three years all suspended except for a thirty day sentence on pre-approved furlough to a State work crew. In addition, the court entered an order that Mr. Gaudette forfeit all future rights to participate in any animal husbandry or slaughterhouse activity involving live animals.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.