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California Backyard Butcher Charged

California Backyard Butcher Charged
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Have you ever heard of a backyard butcher? It’s pretty much what it sounds like — a person who slaughters animals for their personal consumption. This is legal in California, but a backyard butcher selling meat to the public is not.

Last week Roberto Celedon was arrested and charged with 13 counts –-3 felonies and 10 misdemeanors– of charges ranging from felony animal cruelty to operating a meat slaughterhouse without a license. “The charges could be changed as the case is still under investigation” Jane Robison, Press Secretary, Los Angeles District Attorney’s office told me in a phone conversation.

Current charges are:

  • Adulterating any meat or meat food product – felony
  • Cruelty to animal (brown and white bull) – felony
  • Cruelty to animal (baby black goat) – felony
  • Operating a meat processing establishment or custom livestock slaughterhouse without a license – misdemeanor
  • Operating an establishment not licensed by the department – misdemeanor
  • Operating an establishment that is not clean – misdemeanor
  • Operating an establishment in a manner or under conditions that are not sanitary – misdemeanor
  • Operating an establishment that does not meet sanitary building or equipment standards – misdemeanor
  • Slaughtering livestock capable as use for human food – misdemeanor
  • Illegal slaughter (goat, without rendering the animal insensible to pain) – misdemeanor
  • Illegal slaughter (sheep, without rendering the animal insensible to pain) – misdemeanor
  • Failure to provide sufficient good and wholesome food and potable water – misdemeanor

On April 3, 2012, 58 animals were removed from Celedon’s Santa Clarita, California property by Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (ACC.) A horse (with a severe leg wound that is open to the bone), five cattle, 14 goats and nine sheep were turned over to The Gentle Barn for rehabilitation at the sanctuary. The remaining smaller animals — pigeons, chickens and nine dogs — were sent to the Castaic Animal shelter for a period of quarantine.

Gentle Barn President Jay Weiner told me in a phone interview that at least one of the cows taken in is confirmed to be pregnant. The remaining animals are suffering from malnutrition, parasites, infected open sores, runny noses, hacking coughs and major fevers. Some of the goats are actually blind from untreated eye infections.

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Photo of rescued horse used with permission of The Gentle Barn

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10:05AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Hope this cruel person gets banned for having animals for life.

8:10AM PDT on Apr 12, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:11AM PDT on Apr 12, 2013

Some idiot came up with the idea of a slaughterhouse and then it exploded all over the world. It is completely out of control. Now we are trying to get it back under control. Good luck with that! People buy meat in the stores like crazy because it is convenient not realizing where it came from or how it got there. Open your eyes. It is really ugly. I do not eat meat whatsoever, nor will I EVER eat meat. It is disgusting. It is a very selfish thing to do, purchasing meat and animal byproducts in the store. Realize how it got there and the hell that animals go through just so you can have a bowl of ice cream or a grilled steak.

1:06PM PST on Dec 10, 2012


5:57AM PST on Dec 10, 2012

Jane B wrote: The exact same thing is happening in SLAUGHTERHOUSES every day of the week. 1.5 million animals are horribly slaughtered by machines and cut up while they ARE STILL ALIVE and THAT is PERFECTLY LEGAL!!!!

How can we stop this crazy madness? Become a vegetarian or expose what is going on in mainstream media to create outrage! MarketPlace did this last night to audiences across Canada and already the outrage sparked is pretty interesting to watch. You can see the episode at (but it won't be available for a few weeks as it just aired last night).

4:09AM PST on Dec 10, 2012

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

1:59AM PST on Dec 10, 2012

ma come si puoi arrivare a questo?e perché sempre pagano questi poveri bestie?

4:54PM PST on Dec 9, 2012

Most of those charges are only misdemeanors????? God thats sickening.

4:47PM PST on Dec 9, 2012

These are muderous felons LOCK THEM UP IN AHOLE AND THROW AWAY THE KEY ,oh ya throw them some rotten food once a month !

3:57PM PST on Dec 9, 2012

We all need to keep focused on spreading the word and helping in raising awareness so that these vile people can longer hide from public scrutiny. Thank you to all those who helped in exposing this and other horrific acts of cruelty towards those who cannot speak out for themselves.

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