Hamptonburgh residents claim cows were tortured at farm

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Residents in Orange County say they're traumatized after hearing and seeing the aftermath of what they call the torture of cows.

Neighbors say the animals were killed with a 3-foot long machete Tuesday at a farm on Purgatory Road in Hamptonburgh.

“There was torture, what appeared to be torture going on, to calves and I don't know how many cows,” says Cindy Huepler.

Huepler told News 12 that those who drove by saw cows being whipped, then led inside the barn to be killed, allegedly with a machete, which isn't a humane device under federal law.

The farm is owned by a Muslim, and this Tuesday was the start of one of Islam's most sacred holidays, Eid al-Adha, or the festival of sacrifice. This is when Muslims worldwide kill cattle in honor of Abraham.

“They're Muslims. It is their religion, and as long as they're slaying in a humane manner, then it is legal,” says Hudson Valley SPCA Chief Gene Hecht.

Hecht says the incident has still created a commotion and that he received over 25 calls about it.

He says the owner doesn’t need a slaughter permit if it's done for religious reasons. Experts in the local Muslim community say there are still unwritten rules on how any sacrifice should be done.

Animal cruelty officials say they are looking into the incident, but they can't take any action without video or photos that prove there was inhumane treatment.

News 12 tried to contact the owner of the farm, but was asked to leave the property by farmhands.

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