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February 15, 2008

Precedent Set, Message Sent

I just got out of a press conference in San Bernardino with District Attorney Michael Ramos. At the press conference—which was crowded with print, radio, and television reporters—he announced his filing of charges against two individuals, including felony animal cruelty charges against one, for the appalling abuses The HSUS documented at a dairy cow slaughter plant in Chino, Calif. It's the latest positive step in the unfolding of an extraordinary hidden camera investigation that has pricked the conscience of the nation about how animals raised for food are treated.

I am so pleased that District Attorney Ramos took this action, and on behalf of the entire HSUS family, I offered my praise and thanks to him. He gave a powerful and moving statement about not tolerating animal cruelty in society, whether the act is done to "a beloved family pet or a cow at a slaughterhouse." He added, "Unnecessary cruelty will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law."

Justice is being served in this case. Two individuals who did awful things to animals are likely to lose their freedom for some time. District Attorney Ramos has stated that his investigation continues. Meanwhile, the USDA and its Office of Inspector General are also continuing their investigations. The slaughter plant has been temporarily shuttered, and given the behavior exhibited, it should not reopen with the current owners in charge.

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