December 14, 2016 8:04 pm
Updated: December 14, 2016 10:55 pm

Hospital’s live Nativity display closed after camel handler charged with cruelty

WATCH ABOVE: An alleged act of animal cruelty has led to the closure of a nativity scene sponsored by the Pikeville Medical Centre in Kentucky. Police charged the handler with animal cruelty after video surfaced of them appearing to punch the camel.

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An eastern Kentucky hospital has cancelled its live Nativity display after a camel handler was accused of animal cruelty.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the display was supposed to run through Friday at Pikeville Medical Center but was cancelled Tuesday. That action was taken after a woman posted a video on Facebook showing a man shoving a camel, apparently to get it to lie down, then punching the animal in the head.

READ MORE: Police searching for person who left newborn baby in nativity manger at NYC church

Pikeville police said Joseph P. Price of Jackson, Missouri, an employee of 5H Ranch, was cited on a charge of second-degree animal cruelty. The hospital said 5H Ranch owner Maxine Hale fired Price after hospital representatives expressed concern.

Hospital spokeswoman Laura Damron said the hospital had hired 5H to provide animals for the display for more than 20 years and never had reason to question the animals’ care.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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