comscore Vermont college euthanizes farm ox at center of uproar | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Vermont college euthanizes farm ox at center of uproar

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 photo, Lou, front, and Bill, are seen in an enclosure at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. To officials at the small Vermont liberal arts college a decision to slaughter two retired oxen and serve the meat in its dining halls is a matter of sustainable agriculture. But now, the school is under attack by those who want the oxen spared and have found a sanctuary for the animals.(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
[ AD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS STORY ]

POULTNEY, Vt. >> A Vermont college euthanized one its farm oxen Sunday that have been at the center of an uproar over the college’s decision to process the animals into meat.

The 11-year-old ox, named Lou, was put down after a recurring injury to his hind leg continued to deteriorate, Green Mountain College in Poultney said.

Lou and another ox were retired this summer from the college’s working farm. The school planned to turn them into beef products to be served in the college dining hall as it has done with other livestock and in keeping with the school’s emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

That decision drew fire from animal rights activists who wanted the oxen spared and had found a sanctuary for them.

In a statement, the college said it decided to euthanize Lou after veterinarians agreed his condition would worsen.

“The arrival of cold temperatures and icy conditions are certain to increase his suffering, and we have concurred with our veterinarians’ judgment that it was not humane for him to suffer further,” the statement said.

The college said Lou’s work partner, Bill, would not be sent to a sanctuary and instead would stay at the school farm and receive care consistent with appropriate livestock practices.

Following the school’s decision to have Bill and Lou slaughtered, critics signed online petitions and sent thousands of emails from around the world.

Even area slaughterhouses were threatened, preventing the small liberal arts college from finding a place to butcher them, school officials said.

The uproar began after VINE Sanctuary, based in Springfield, Vt., offered a home for the animals and urged followers to contact Green Mountain College asking it to reconsider its decision.

VINE Sanctuary’s coordinator, Miriam Jones, said she was saddened to hear of Lou’s death.

“We’re deeply saddened and we hope Bill can live out the rest of his years in a happy, healthy environment,” she said.

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up