As part of that plea deal, Kenneth Abert, 56, also was ordered not to possess rabbits and to have no involvement in the sale of rabbits or their meat.
After receiving a report from an officer with the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who had been unsuccessful in getting Abert and property owner Luther Bumps to improve living conditions for a horse and eight rabbits, Truro Animal Control Officer Suzanne Trasavage and police Officer Thomas Roda visited Bumps' home on Bayview Drive in North Truro in August.
In her report, Trasavage described being overcome by the smell of urine and said the rabbits were sitting in their own feces in stacked cages in a basement with no ventilation. Their food was moldy and some of the rabbits did not have water. The horse had no covered shelter and its water trough was covered in algae.
Abert previously had been ordered to shut down a similar operation in Provincetown, where he was found to have kept more than 50 meat rabbits to be slaughtered and sold to local restaurants. He also had as many as 10 Angora rabbits bred for their fur. Provincetown officials found the living conditions at the Race Point Road property similar to those in North Truro.
Abert did not have a permit to raise rabbits and neither did the slaughterhouse he used, according to court documents.
As part of the plea deal, a charge of obstruction of an animal inspection was dropped.
Bumps is due back in court March 25 for a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence on a charge of animal cruelty.
The eight rabbits turned over from the Truro operation were placed at the MSPCA Cape Cod shelter in Centerville or the Animal Rescue League of Boston's shelter in Brewster. All have since been adopted, shelter spokesmen said Wednesday.
(Cape Cod Times - Feb 24, 2016)