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ARCHIVE - No Plea Deal For Hallmark Animal Torturers

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CONTACT INFORMATION • Print/Send This Letter

District Attorney Michael A. Ramos
San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office

316 N. Mt. View Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0004
ph: 909-387-8309; fax: 909-387-6313

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Dear District Attorney Ramos and the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office:

I applaud your office for its proactive stance in the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company case. Criminal charges filed against former Hallmark workers Daniel Ugarte Navarro and Luis Sanchez are purportedly the nation's first felony charges for animal cruelty at a slaughterplant.

I understand police spotted 11 occurrences of illegal activity in the Humane Society of the United States undercover video. One-time pen manager Navarro faces jail time of eight years and eight months if convicted of five felony and three misdemeanor cruelty counts. Sanchez, Navarro's prior helper, could get three years behind bars for three misdemeanor counts of using machinery to maneuver animals.

But Sanchez may walk away with a slap on the wrist if the DA accepts a plea deal. Public defender Mario Martinez claims his client was "just an employee making $9 an hour. He was following directions." This is no defense for circumventing animal cruelty laws.

Please do not strike a deal at Sanchez's March 13 hearing. I also urge you to seek maximum penalties for Navarro, when he is arraigned March 24, 2008. Both defendants violated California's animal cruelty and downed animal protection laws. Both should be prosecuted for their transgressions. California's downer law orders incapacitated animals to be humanely euthanized or removed.

Apparently Hallmark management endorses or ignores violent means to force infirm animals to the kill box. As you know, the accused are videotaped electrically prodding the heads, necks, spine and rectums of animals crumpled on concrete. The cows can do little more than blink and moan in response. Navarro is seen paddling a non-ambulatory cow in the face and eye. The animals are dragged in heavy chains and hoisted on forklift prongs, mercilessly rammed and rolled over pavement.

I sincerely hope the DA's ongoing investigation brings charges against Hallmark management as well. Navarro cast previous plant owner Donny Hallmark as the decision-maker, telling Chino police his boss directed him to coerce animals with a forklift or fire concentrated water jets into their nostrils and throats.

I call upon your office to set a strong precedent for prosecuting animal abuse within the livestock industry. Hallmark Meat Packing Company officers and employees need to be held responsible for animal torture.

Thank you,
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source of information & references
•  DA offers cruelty deal / Lawyer: Meat worker did his job
•  Cruelty charges filed against slaughterhouse boss
•  Animal Cruelty at Hallmark Slaughter Plant Must be Prosecuted
•  These Are Downed Animals (FACT SHEET)
•  VIDEO: Charged with Cruelty / Slaughterhouse Employees Charged
•  VIDEO: HSUS Investigates Slaughterhouse/ Cruel and Unhealthy Practices Uncovered
•  VIDEO: Cheap Meat - Working in a Slaughterhouse

     PHOTOS extracted from HSUS undercover videos at Chino, California-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Packing Company.

1. Charged with Cruelty / Slaughterhouse Employees Charged
2. HSUS Investigates Slaughterhouse / Cruel Practices Uncovered
3. Cheap Meat / Working in a Slaughterhouse

Westland/Hallmark Meat Packing Company flaunts a history of animal welfare transgressions. In 1993, Farm Sanctuary filmed workers jostling debilitated animals with forklifts. Between 1996 and 2004 two California humane groups contacted USDA repeatedly after their probe uncovered 11 verified instances of abuse at Hallmark. In 2005, USDA records showed various breaches, such as “too much electric prodding.” And USDA recently found Hallmark had killed cows forced to stand for pre-slaughter inspection since February 2006.

Defendant's Name: Luis Sanchez

NEXT APPEARANCE: 3/13/08, 8:30am, Disposition/Reset (PLEA DEAL)
Court Case #: FSB703329 / Court: S23
Judge: Michael Dest

Defendants Name: Daniel Navarro
NEXT APPEARANCE: 3/24/08, 8:30am, Arraignment
Court Case #: FCH800088 / Court: C1
Judge: Stanford Reichert

DISCLAIMER: Information in these materials is verified with original source. Kinship Circle does not assume responsibility for accuracy of information or for consequences of its use. Nothing on this website intends to encourage illegal action in whatever country you are reading it in. Kinship Circle does not engage in, nor support, any form of harassment or unlawful action. Nothing in this alert serves to promote such conduct.

EMAIL ADDRESSES: Kinship Circle cannot guarantee validity of email addresses. During a campaign, recipients may change or disable their email addresses. Email addresses obtained from government or other official websites may be outdated or incorrect.
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