9 Face Cruelty Charges In Wyoming Pig Farm Investigation

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“Posting on behalf of my mum”

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Platte County Attorney’s Office recently charged nine employees of a pig-breeding farm near Wheatland with multiple counts of animal cruelty uncovered in May.

The charges filed Dec. 3 stem from an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States last spring and a subsequent investigation by the Wyoming Livestock Board.

The charging document filed by Platte County Deputy Attorney Douglas Weaver includes affidavits filed by the undercover investigator who worked in Wyoming Premium Farms’ pig farrowing unit from March 30 to May 1. The Humane Society last summer released what it said was an undercover video, showing workers abusing pigs at the farm.

The investigator, whose name is blacked out in the documents, details incidents of alleged deliberate abuse and neglect, including lack of treatment for injured pigs and sows.

The defendants named include:

• Kyla Erin Adams (also spelled Kayla in some documents), two counts.

• Patrick D. Rukavina, three counts.

• Jarrod Barney Juarez, two counts.

• Edward Raymond “Jake” Pritekel, three counts.

• Steve Perry, three counts.

• Richard Pritekel, four counts.

• Kali E. Oseland, four counts.

• David Brian Bienz Jr., two counts.

• Former assistant manager Shawn Colson, six counts.

Upon conviction, each misdemeanor count carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Those charged have been summoned for an initial appearance Jan. 18 in Platte County Circuit Court before Magistrate Scott Cole.

The Platte County Sheriff’s Department has been unable to locate some of the defendants in Platte County, according to the documents. Colson, the former assistant manager, now has an address in Rapid City, S.D.

Leana Stormont, investigative counsel for the Humane Society, said Wednesday that the organization is “very grateful to the Wyoming Livestock Board and Law Enforcement Administrator Jimmy Dean Siler for their diligent and thorough response to our cruelty complaint and to the Platte County sheriff and county attorney for ensuring that laws to protect animals are enforced and that defendants who abuse animals are punished.”

The investigation of the Wheatland pig farm disclosed standard abuses in the pork-raising industry in the tight confinement of the animals, Stormont said.

The animals at the Wheatland pig farm were kept in crates so small they were almost immobilized and helpless.

“That creates a culture of cruelty for the workers,” Stormont said.

She noted one particular instance of cruelty when workers cut off the testicles of piglets and fed them to their sow.

In another, a woman worker who weighed more than 200 pounds sat on a sow that couldn’t walk because of a broken leg and was screaming in agony, Stormont said.

An anonymous tip prompted the Humane Society undercover operation, she said.

Wyoming Premium Farms is under new management – AMVC Management Services, a livestock producing company based in Audubon, Iowa.

Jason Hocker, the veterinarian for AMVC, sent an email news release in response to a phone call from the Star-Tribune.

The release says that Wyoming Premium Farms retained AMVC to provide swine health and welfare management and oversight, as well as leadership and training of the employees at each farm.

“AMVC Management Services and WPF are committed to ensuring that swine health and welfare are adequately provided for every day. WPF fully supports accountability for anyone working with animals.

WPF and AMVC Management Services have implemented training programs in swine welfare and handling to ensure that all employees understand appropriate animal husbandry skills. Employee safety and the health and welfare of the pigs at each of WPF’s farms continue to be primary areas of focus and training,” the release stated.

Leanne Correll, director of the Wyoming Livestock Board, said the board receives very few complaints as large as those involved the pig-breeding operation near Wheatland.

The board does receive a lot of complaints against individuals claiming neglect of animals, she added.

Humane Society spokeswoman Anna West said the case was “hideous.”

“They were throwing piglets around as if they were balls,” she said of the workers.

The most egregious incident, she said, was a sow with a prolapsed uterus that was left to die slowly after a worker botched an attempt to pull her piglets from her uterus.

News Link:http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/face-cruelty-charges-in-wyoming-pig-farm-investigation/article_05a9f84e-505d-11e2-ae9e-001a4bcf887a.html

Warning Graphic Video Viewer Discretion Advised

Published on 8 May 2012

Warning: Contains Graphic Footage. Undercover video footage at “Wyoming Premium Farms” revealing egregious cruelty and filthy conditions at a Wyoming pig breeding facility owned by a supplier for Tyson Foods.

Related:- https://preciousjules1985.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/shocking-animal-cruelty-at-tyson-foods-supplier-video/

 

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Animal cruelty trial continued until December

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A trial for a Leavenworth man charged with felony animal cruelty has been continued for two months.

Jerald Halstead’s case had been scheduled to go to trial next week, but a continuance was granted Friday in Leavenworth County District Court. The trial is now set for Dec. 10.

Jerald Halstead

Halstead, 23, was arrested July 8 by Leavenworth police after a wounded dog was found in a trash bag in a wooded area in the 1500 block of Choctaw Street. The dog was put down by police.

Halstead is accused of carrying the wounded animal to the wooded area after it was shot by Joshua Elliott.

Elliott pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty in August. Last month, he received a 180-day jail sentence and probation.

The continuance in the Halstead case was requested by the prosecution.

Reviewing the reason for the request, District Judge Gunnar Sundby said it appeared a witness would be unavailable for the trial, which was scheduled for Tuesday, and it’s now believed the trial may take more than a day.

Halstead’s attorney, Michael Willcott, said he agreed the trial probably will last longer than a day.

Willcott said even though the prosecution had objected to an earlier request he made for a continuance, he was not objecting the prosecution’s request to reschedule the trial.

Sundby said the trial had been scheduled for Tuesday with the idea it would last only a day. He said jury deliberations could continue into Wednesday. But he can’t have the evidentiary portion of the trial continue into Wednesday and still handle the docket he normally has on Wednesdays.

The judge found there was good cause for continuing the trial. Sundby said he has a pretty full trial schedule for the fall. He said the trial could be continued to Dec. 10, or it could be placed on the docket for an earlier date as a backup to other trials.

Assistant County Attorney Sherri Becker, who’s prosecuting the case, said Dec. 10 is still within the speedy trial requirement for the case. Sundby said Halstead’s trial will be “first up” Dec. 10.

This was not the first time the trial was continued. It had been set for Tuesday after a continuance was requested by the defence.

News Link:-http://www.leavenworthtimes.com/article/20121006/NEWS/121009153

Related:https://preciousjules1985.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/suspects-charged-in-animal-cruelty-case/

Suspects charged in animal cruelty case

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Leavenworth, Kan. — The two men who were arrested over the weekend in Leavenworth after a wounded dog was found in a garbage bag have been formally charged, a prosecutor said.

Joshua Elliott, 24, and Gerald Halstead, 23, each face a felony count of cruelty to animals, according to County AttorneyTodd Thompson.

Joshua Elliott 

Gerald Halstead,

Thompson said the men appeared Monday in Leavenworth County District Court and may be back in court Wednesday.

The two men were arrested Sunday in the 1500 block of Choctaw Street.

Police were called to the area after someone was seen carrying a garbage bag into the woods, which witnesses thought was suspicious, according to Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens.

At the scene, police found the garbage bag. Inside was a small beagle. Kitchens said the animal was severely wounded and bleeding.

Because of its injuries, the dog was put down.

One of the suspects reportedly told police the dog had been shot accidentally at a residence in the area after there had been heavy drinking. Kitchens said the dog appeared to have suffered other injuries.

“It was very clear the dog had suffered a number of serious mortal wounds,” Kitchens said.

He said there was at least one witness who reported previously seeing the dog being abused.

Leavenworth Animal Control removed three other dogs from the residence.

Police Lt. Kevin Crim said he is not aware of any injuries to these dogs.

News Link:http://www.leavenworthtimes.com/news/x874248877/Suspects-charged-in-animal-cruelty-case

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