NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - A New Bedford barbershop has been closed after city officials found evidence of ritualistic animal sacrifice at the site.
Animal control officers on Tuesday removed two chickens and four roosters, one dead, from the shop's basement, after fire and building inspectors found the birds during a routine safetyinspection.
Animal Control Officer Emanuel Maciel tells The Standard-Times the chickens and roosters were kept in two pens next to a religious altar of candles, saint statues and hand-drawn religious symbols.
The barbershop's owner faces animal cruelty charges.
Owner William Camacho says he practices Palo Mayombe, an Afro-Caribbean religion similar to Santeria, and his religious freedoms have been violated.
He says he does not sacrifice animals at the barbershop but only at religious ceremonies in rural settings.
10 Orms Street Providence, R.I. 02904
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