My apologies for the lengthy absence. I think (I hope!) my life has settled back enough in order to be able to post at least (semi) regularly again.
Let's see... first things first...
I promised one reader to post about his case. On May 4th, John of White Plains, NY wrote:
John, please feel free to share any further updates.
A colleague of mine recently represented the owner’s of a dog that was buried in the oldest and probably the most famous pet cemetery in the country, the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery . That is, until the pet cemetery literally evicted Dodo from her grave, cremated her, and destroyed the customer monument that the owner’s purchased for her without informing the owner’s that they had done so....
We were hoping to share information about this case with your readers. An article and clip of a recent news broadcast on this case can be found at http://wcbstv.com/seenon/hartsdale.pet.cemetery.2.1667613.html
...Biographical information for the attorney from my office who advocated on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Tsun can be found on our firm’s website at http://www.renzullilaw.com/attorneys/john-tait
I hope we can share our insight and experience with your readers. Thanks and keep up the good work!
John A. Tartaglia III
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP
On May 8th, Chicago's NBC station ran this story about a dog owner's suit after her West Highland Terrier was attacked and killed by a pit bull at a local vet hospital. If anyone happens to know the plaintiff attorney, Cosmo Tedone, please tell him to feel free to call me. This fact pattern is extremely close to the Anzalone case that I appealed (then won on remand) a few years ago.
This item comes from my friend Doug Powell's Kansas State food science blog:
Historic sentence for cruel poultry farmer----------
NZFSARunning a poultry farm in a way that caused suffering and distress to animals in his care has landed an Auckland poultry farmer in prison and cost him the right to own broiler hens for 10 years.
Gerard Francis Van Den Bogaart, trading as Golden Harvest Poultry, was today sentenced by Her Honour Judge McAuslan in Papakura District Court after pleading guilty to four offences under the Animal Products Act 1999 (APA) and two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
In June 2008 New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) investigators and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) investigators – assisted by police, local council officers and a veterinarian – executed NZFSA search warrants on two rural properties in South Auckland that Van Den Bogaart was operating from. This was done under provisions of the Animal Products Act on the basis of the suspected illegal slaughter and sale of poultry and eggs to a number of Auckland retailers.
During the three-day operation more than 100,000 eggs were seized and destroyed, 5000 laying hens were relocated and more than 1,100 mainly broiler chickens euthanased to alleviate their suffering. NZFSA and animal welfare staff were forced to euthanase a further 4000 hens, broiler chickens and ducks because these animals could not be relocated to compliant properties.
Records show poultry and egg sales totalling $279,962 between January and June 2008, which Judge McAuslan said constituted a significant operation.
In sentencing him, Judge McAuslan said Van Den Bogaart had been cruel and his significant offending over a long period of time had led to suffering and distress for the animals in his care.
Her Honour sentenced Van Den Bogaart under the Animal Welfare Act to one year in prison for the wilful ill-treatment of broiler hens and roosters in his care and for two months concurrently for failing to provide for their physical, health and behavioural needs.
Under the Animal Products Act Her Honour imprisoned Van Den Bogaart for six months concurrently for selling non-compliant animal products, while he was convicted and discharged on two lesser charges under the Act.
He was also ordered to pay almost $10,000 in relation to the costs incurred by the authorities during the three day operation and disqualified from keeping broiler hens for 10 years.
Sentencing marks the culmination of two years of work by authorities. NZFSA director of compliance and investigation Geoff Allen says what the investigators found during the operation beggared belief.
“We found chickens that were kept in filthy and inhumane conditions.
“No consumer should be put at risk by eating eggs or animals produced, kept or slaughtered in such unsanitary conditions and where the necessary precautions are not taken to manage the presence of harmful bacteria.”In early 2007 NZFSA served a notice of direction on the company to cease the sale of poultry and eggs as well as slaughter of poultry, which Mr Van Den Bogaart continued to disregard.
Prior to the operation, NZFSA had tried in vain to help Mr van den Bogaart make his operation compliant by developing a Risk Management Programme (RMP), which is a legal requirement for all poultry slaughterhouses and all egg producers with more than 100 female birds.
MAF investigations manager Greg Reid said that failing to protect the welfare of all production animals including poultry is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
“The Act places a duty of care on everyone who owns or is in charge of animals to prevent pain, suffering and distress. Turning a blind eye to animals’ suffering – and in this case for personal and financial gain – has serious consequences; not just for the animals but now for Mr van den Bogaart through a court hearing and extensive penalties.
“The standard of care and management in this case was well below and far removed from the behaviours of a reasonable and prudent poultry farmer. Such conduct impacts on the reputation of all good poultry farmers throughout New Zealand.”
And who is this dog? What does he have to do with a recent ABA meeting? Find out in this heartwarming link courtesy of the ABA's Debbie Weixl and TIPS animal law committee's Marian Sullivan: