Residents Call For Westport Farm To Be Condemned At Meeting
At last night's meeting, the Westport Board of Selectmen issued a statement regarding the massive animal abuse case at a local tenant farm. In their statement, the board described the current state of the case against the property owner and tenants, along with potential actions to avoid this from happening again.
Residents at the meeting called for the farm to be condemned until it's numerous health issues are fixed. People also expressed their concern with a lack of communication between the different boards in town since the the tenant farm's first reported issue with animal cruelty in 2010.
Today, the property owner received a letter from the Board of Health stating he would be fined $1,000 per day if issues regarding a recent rat infestation wasn't addressed within 10 days. During the meeting, members of the Board of Selectmen questioned why it took the Board of Health so long to deliver the letter despite knowing about the infestation problem for weeks.
Resident Laurie Manory, who spoke during the meeting, told WBSM News better communication between boards could have stopped the cruelty at the farm much earlier.
"It seems that everybody is pointing fingers at one another and it just makes us as a town look incompetent, and that's just not a good feeling," Manory said.
The Board of Selectmen also said that they currently have limited legal access to the property since releasing it back to the owner. Some animals have returned to the property, and there has already been a reported incident of a young bull getting loose.
While the board says they're working on getting unrestricted access back, they say the process is ongoing. The town's building inspector also condemned a number of buildings on the property and ordered them to be demolished, however the board says the process of ensuring compliance could take a while.