A Union City man told to move a cache of farm animals from a Secaucus Road lot in mid-May allegedly failed to comply, and instead was caught by Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli allegedly butchering them on Sunday, June 23, during a surprise visit, according to Gonnelli.
The story began last month when town officials, acting on tips phoned in, went to a lot on Secaucus Road. They found a collection of ducks, hens, roosters, and turkeys.
Officials notified Eugenio Oramas, 56, of Union City that he needed to move the animals by May 18 to comply with a town ordinance that prohibits the breeding and keeping of these types of farm animals.
He had originally kept the collection of animals on the lot while he operated a company there, and continued to do so, even after the business failed, according to various newspaper accounts.
On Sunday, when Gonnelli stopped by, he saw Oramas at the site with friends, along with a long-handled knife and two fires going, the mayor said last week.
The mayor said he observed a bow and arrow as well.
“I kept going by the site, I took a chance, and there they were, [allegedly] butchering them,” Gonnelli said. “There were guys sitting around in a circle. One guy was plucking them. One guy was chopping them.”
“I took a chance, and there they were, butchering them.” – Mayor Michael Gonnelli
By the afternoon, more than 51 animals were caught, caged and sent to a new home, Swift Farms in Milford. Among them were 20 chickens, 10 doves, nine roosters, five chicks, and four ducks, as well as turkeys, pheasants, and guinea hens.
A summons has been issued for Oramas to appear in Secaucus Municipal Court on animal cruelty charges, according to the Secaucus Police Department.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.