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Death of Weir River Farm’s Ruby the llama raises concerns; Trustees of Reservations stands behind its ‘high standards for animal care’


Death of Weir River Farm’s Ruby the llama raises concerns; Trustees of Reservations stands behind its ‘high standards for animal care’

May 2, 2024 By Carol Britton-Mayer

Following the incident at Weir River Farm on April 4 involving Ruby the Llama, Hingham Animal Control Officer, Leslie Badger, went to the scene just after 7:17 p.m. to investigate in response to an anonymous call to the Hingham Police Department.

I then filed a complaint about the animal. (See attached police report).

However, since the accident, Badger has carried out regular well-being checks on the farm and has communicated with managers, staff and the vet. “As of now (Wednesday, May 1), all the animals on the farm appear to be healthy, thriving and not in any type of distress,” she told the Hingham Anchor.

The Anchor has also reached out to Reservations Trustees Public Relations Manager Mary Dettloff for comment related to the police report and a letter former Weir River Farm volunteer Joanne Delaney submitted to the Anchor on April 25 alleging “animal cruelty.”

However, Dettloff said the trustees “pride themselves in upholding high standards of animal care on our agricultural properties.”

Delaney’s concerns center around the death of Ruby, who she claims was lying “dying of deer worms on the cold, damp ground” over Easter on 4 April, and the surrounding circumstances.

“I want you to know I was there [that morning]. This is not speculation. “This is based on fact,” Delaney said in an email accompanying the letter. “[I] I just want to feed and water the animals [to] Receive necessary medical care.”

Trustees respond
In response to the letter and police report, which Dettloff said she read, Dettloff provided a statement to the Hingham Anchor that said in part: “Led by our livestock managers and dedicated volunteers and in regular consultation with local veterinarians, our animal welfare organization is guided by sound and humane management protocols.” Weir River Farm We have a close working relationship with local officials who have complimented us on the standard of care we take for the sheep, goats, pigs and chickens in our teaching yard.

Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, Wear River Farm has lost two animals [including Ruby] A parasitic disease that, although rare, is almost always fatal to small ruminants. The parasite, known as deer worm, is spread by consuming infected feces, which can occur when cattle graze in a pasture where white-tailed deer and slugs are present, Dettloff explained.
“Due to an unusually mild, rainy winter, farms across the region have seen an increase in cases. The parasite poses no risk to humans. In both cases the animals [including Ruby] She was seen and assessed by our local vet, who advised us on treatment. They were given comfort measures and eventually euthanized. “The return of drier weather and new grass to grazing should reduce the risk to the rest of the herd, which has been moved to new pasture and treated prophylactically with anthelmintics,” Dettloff said.

Delaney claims that in her experience as a volunteer, the animals at Wear River Ranch “are not receiving proper care. [most recent] The letter claims that the animals died on the farm. “The paid staff changed frequently; the animals ran out of food. There were times in the winter when the pump would freeze for days, so the animals did not have fresh water.

Delaney also states in the letter that “often when we see injustice, whether big or small, we think: ‘Wow, that’s terrible,’ but we do nothing. We don’t say anything. We stay silent, because silence is easy. When we don’t say something, [alleged] Animal cruelty continues Please speak up for the animals – they have no voice.

“An educational experience for all participants”
While the situation involving Ruby was clearly distressing, Badger told the Hingham Anchor that she was “immediately alerted, was able to go there and see what was happening, and get through to the staff – who made the right decisions after speaking to me. The vet came and one of employees to the farm [Ruby’s] The suffering is over. It has been a learning experience for all involved, and we are moving forward in a positive way from here.

Weir River Farm’s animal welfare policy, provided by Dettloff, is partly about providing all livestock with “an environment that enables them to manifest their natural instincts,” the opportunity to forage appropriate to their species, and “adequate and naturally nutrient-rich food.” Diets suitable for the anatomy of the digestive system.

All breeds are selected with their ability to thrive year-round in Massachusetts climate conditions, according to the policy — with an emphasis on “promoting health rather than treating disease, with the understanding that providing adequate rearing environments supports the health and well-being of livestock.”

We welcome volunteers who provide support to the farm. “We are happy to meet people who want to volunteer and match them with volunteer duties that interest them,” Dettloff said.

Concerns have been addressed
In response to Delaney’s comments in her letter to the Hingham Anchor regarding “the use of medication from a goat that had recently died from a llama” and her understanding of a comment made by a staff member regarding a lack of funding for medications, Dettloff had this to say: “With regard to the use of medications on hand; It is common practice on the farm to have certain medications on hand and ready to use. Our budget for Weir River Farm is appropriate for the needs of the livestock and farm operations. The person who made the statement about not being able to afford the medication must have misspoken and was not familiar with our budget We will never stop caring for animals.

Dettloff made the following additional comments: “Storm day [the April 4 Nor’easter]Our staff and volunteers made sure all animals, including sick llamas, were secured in preparation for the storm. The llama was given food, water, and clean bedding and was placed in a protected area.

According to Dettloff, the farm’s animal caretaker stayed with the llamas until 6:45 p.m. that night.

“No charges have been or will be filed.”
Regarding the anonymous call to the police department and the filing of a police report, Dettloff said it is “very important to note that no charges have been or will be filed in connection with this event.” Within an hour of [the anonymous individual] Making the call to the police is Anne Smith White [of the Trustees of Reservations] He was contacted by the police. She in turn called the animal supervisor and veterinarian, who arrived at 9 a.m. The llama was euthanized at 10pm by the vet. From the time the llama first showed symptoms to the time of euthanasia, it was about 48 hours. During this very short timeline, the llama was cared for, made comfortable, and given medications and medical care. I should also note that just before 7pm, our animal caretaker contacted the vet and they agreed to euthanize the llama the next morning.

Badger hopes that no more incidents will occur. “Weir River Farm has a long history of caring for its animals, and is a place where people — including 4H members — go to learn how to care for animals,” she said.

Looking to the future, a full slate of events is planned at Weir River Farm, including an upcoming spring festival and, this summer, a series of sunset picnic events featuring live music, local foods and craft beer. Weekly barnyard animal programs for children are also offered.

Police report: https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AM49BcnaSF%5FcTdM&id=EC57AFA0D234DC12%21481585&cid=EC57AFA0D234DC12&parId=root&parQt=sharedby&o=OneUp



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