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Deceased calf found in school dumpster

A deceased calf found in a Unicoi County Vocational School dumpster caused a stir over the weekend; however, the incident did not result any charges.
According to Unicoi County Director of Schools Denise Brown, a calf that became ill last week due to the cold weather, died on Friday, Nov. 14. One of the students assigned to care for the calf and others at the school notified an agriculture instructor of the death.
The instructor was not in town so he advised the student to put the dead calf in the dumpster as to move it out of the elements and away from the other calves, Brown said.
The intent was that the instructor would deal with the calf upon his return, according to Brown. However, an unknown person accessed the dumpster on school property and discovered the animal before the instructor returned.
Brown said that Capt. Whitehead, a criminal investigator with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, said there was no violation involved whatsoever since the dumpster was on school property and steps were being taken to properly dispose of the deceased livestock.
“We’re glad that the investigation was swift and there was absolutely no violation in this matter toward the teacher or our school system,” said Brown. “We commend our students and they do a great job.”
Brown said that the vocational school has raised six calves. She also said the students had taken “the greatest care” for the sick animal and it showed no signs of abuse. Brown also said that calves dying is not that uncommon in the livestock industry. It is estimated that one in five calves die before adulthood.