Originally published May 15 2015
NY police steal small farmers' horses, charge him with 'cruelty to animals' in vicious attack on self-sufficiency
by Sandy J. Duncan
(NaturalNews) Obviously we want to know when someone is ill-treating animals or not providing them with adequate shelter and food. However when someone who has rescued several animals to protect them from abuse gets accused of animal cruelty himself while being repeatedly harassed by local police, then something is drastically wrong with this picture.
What started with a casual visit by a police officer to a small local farm that raises cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens has been cited with numerous citations from local police following a very frigid winter in the area causing water supplies to freeze for both residents and animals alike.
West Wind Acres providing clean meat The description of their grass-fed meat being raised at West Wind Acres in West Charlton, New York from their website states:
Our cattle are fed 100% forage, we move them daily to fresh pasture where they enjoy clean fresh grasses, clovers, and weeds. We feed our cattle using Management Intensive Grazing practices, they are moved daily to fresh grass. Both the land and cattle benefit from MIG.
The farm's owner Joshua Rockwood was recently charged with cruelty to animals after a local police officer dropped by West Wind Acres on Feb. 25 on a routine check to see if the farm's work dogs were licensed. While the officer was there he noticed that the animal's drinking water was frozen and issued Rockwood a citation. It's important to also note that a number of cities and towns around Glenville were without fresh water for days, so many pipes underground had frozen or burst during this time frame according to a report on bedlamfarm.com.
Then on Feb. 27 Rockwood requested a wellness visit by a local veterinarian and received documentation that all of his animals were in good health and that they were not suffering from dehydration.
On Mar. 3 police showed up to the farm in numbers with a search warrant issued for both the house and the farm, citing Rockwood with additional charges.
A few weeks later on Mar. 15 police showed up again, this time taking Rockwood's horses before any legal proceedings or trial.
Many concerned and offering help One reader on the West Wind Acres Facebook page shares:
Your local government needs to step back and look at all the animals that live outdoors. Cattle herds in Montana and other northern states survive just fine. Wild horses survive each and every year fine. I know pig farmers that hut (sic) pigs outside and they are healthier than barn raised. I support your family and pray you prevail. Never allow police or animal control on your property, once you do, they have carte blanche. Your vet report should stand up as a positive benefit for you. God bless the farmers.
The charge that his animals were abused because they were in an unheated barn is ridiculous. This statement shows the ignorance of the situation. It is rare to heat a barn for farm animals and just isn't done as a general rule. "My barn would be impossible to heat, even if I wanted to and not healthy for the sheep and donkeys if it were. I know of no real farmer who heats his barns or who believes that would be appropriate for animals like cows, donkeys and sheep," comments Jon Katz of Bedlam Farms.
Here are some suggested ways you can help this local farmer:
• Connect via social media just to voice your support. This is a tough time for him and his family.
• Support the farm by buying from his store.
• Write to the local jurisdiction to support local farmers and West Wind Acres
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