Police say man had slaughterhouse in basement

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An 80-year-old West End man faces dozens of charges after the discovery of what city police described as a bloody slaughterhouse in his basement.

Officer Christine Luffey said Thursday she plans to charge Xia Xue Vue with 38 counts of animal cruelty and a single count of violating a city statute forbidding slaughterhouses in residential areas.

Each cruelty count represents one of the live animals officers found during two searches of the Vue home on McKnight Street, she said. All are summary offenses.

On Sept. 22, police discovered 14 chickens, nine pigeons, blood, feathers and a stump in the basement. Another search Wednesday found 15 chickens in similarly filthy conditions. They also found three freezers full of meat, including a squirrel wrapped in plastic, a goat's head and hoofs.

"All this was mixed together," said Officer Luffey, who believes Mr. Vue is selling the meat. She is trying to determine where.

"We fear for the safety of people who are consuming this meat. They're eating food that was in filth," she said.

Robert Gosser, a police officer with the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, cited Mr. Vue in June 2010 with five counts of cruelty after he discovered similar conditions in the man's Jefferson Hills home. He noted chickens and goats that were inadequately sheltered and in unsanitary, cramped quarters. District Judge Pat Capolupo found Mr. Vue guilty in October 2010 and forbade him from owning animals, Officer Gosser said.

"He knows better," Officer Luffey said.


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