An 84-year-old Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to two years’ probation for illegally operating a poultry slaughterhouse out of his home, a practice the man says is common in his native Laos, a landlocked country in Southeast Asia.
In October, Xia Vue of Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to transporting and selling uninspected poultry, which he bought from local farms and auctions. Vue then slaughtered the poultry on his property and sold the meat to ethnic food stores.
Local authorities first became aware of Vue’s personal slaughterhouse in 2011, when they searched his home during an unrelated investigation. Pittsburgh police found live chickens, a hatchet, and chopping block in the man’s basement. For his first known offense, Vue was fined $300.
In 2013, the USDA conducted its own search on the man’s property and seized 52 chickens, seven pigeons, some ducks, and a peacock, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Vue was indicted by a federal jury in January 2015.
As part of his probation, Vue has been banned from purchasing animals or animal carcasses in bulk, and must submit to regular inspections to make sure that he is no longer running his own slaughterhouse.