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Rams not clubbed before slaughter at Evergreen residence

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By Sandy Barnes

A Jeffco sheriff’s report on an April 9 incident in which two rams were slaughtered at a residence near Wilmot Elementary School states they were not clubbed beforehand.

Sheriff’s deputies initially responded to a report from a resident that the animals were being bludgeoned and carved up, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley. 

After a complete investigation of the incident by deputies and Jeffco Animal Control, no evidence was found that the animals had been beaten before they were killed, said sheriff's spokesman Mark Techmeyer.

Evergreen resident LaKay Cecil later said she did not actually see the rams being clubbed after initially reporting that to the Canyon Courier.

Kelley said that, according to findings, the slaughter was performed in keeping with a religious practice of orthodox Jews, and officers left the scene believing that no crime had been committed. 

The resident who slaughtered the animals, George Hunt, said the rams were being processed in a kosher manner to provide food for his family. The animals were restrained and not harmed before they were killed, Hunt said.

Evergreen Rabbi Levi Brackman of Judaism in the Foothills expressed concern over the initial report. Brackman said that specially trained people who perform kosher slaughtering of animals cause them as little pain as possible. 

Clubbing of an animal would render it not kosher, Brackman said.

During a kosher slaughter, a sharp, clean knife with no nicks is used to quickly slit the animal’s throat while it is being restrained, he explained. 

While discussing the incident, Cecil said she respects people of different faiths, and their practices. However, she said she did not think it was appropriate for the slaughter to take place in the front yard of a home in her neighborhood.

“I am sorry I offended them,” Hunt said of his neighbors.

The next time he plans to slaughter an animal for food, Hunt said he will let his neighbors know in advance.

Even if the slaughter had not been associated with a religious practice, it would not have been considered illegal under Jefferson County zoning regulations, said Mike Chadwick, Jeffco zoning administrator.

“The zoning is silent,” Chadwick said about slaughtering livestock on residential property in Jefferson County.

 

Contact Sandy Barnes as sandy@evergreenco.com. Or call 303-350-1042.