Hearing Could Shut Down Illegal Backyard SlaughterPosted on June 24, 2013
ALDF Back in Court in Landmark Hillsborough County Public Nuisance Lawsuit
For immediate release:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
TAMPA — Tomorrow, a hearing is scheduled in Florida’s 13th District Court in a backyard slaughter case that rocked the state of Florida. Last fall, when an undercover investigation revealed gruesome acts of animal cruelty, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit against Hillsborough County’s Cuesta Farm (aka “Quality Cattle”) and Planchart Farm (aka “B.P. Screens”) for criminal violations of state nuisance laws. Video footage obtained by Richard “Kudo” Couto’s Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) nonprofit investigative organization revealed the cruel and illegal slaughter of horses, cattle, pigs, and goats sold for public consumption without any governmental inspection. ALDF is now pushing to inspect both farms. At tomorrow’s hearing, Judge Sam Pendino may order Cuesta Farm, which has ignored all legal proceedings against them, to comply with the law, and decide whether the case against Planchart Farm may move forward.
Where: George F. Edgecomb Courthouse, 800 Twiggs St., Tampa, FL 33602, Hearing Room #525
When: June 25, 2013, 2:30 pm EST
Florida’s public nuisance law allows private citizens to bring forth nuisance suits for the common good, and ALDF is representing individual Hillsborough County residents who are distressed by violations of health codes, the criminal slaughter and disposal of animals, illegal sale of horse, cow, and pig meat, and cruelty to and unlawful confinement of animals in populated, suburban areas, that put communities at serious risk of disease and trauma. If successful, ALDF’s lawsuit would demonstrate for the first time that Florida’s nuisance law can be used to shut down illegal, inhumane, and unsanitary backyard slaughter operations throughout the state.
“Florida residents are empowered by state law to fight atrocities being committed in their neighborhoods,” says Stephen Wells, executive director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The cruelty uncovered at Cuesta and Planchart Farms makes a mockery of laws designed to protect animals and Florida communities.”
Copies of the lawsuit are available upon request. ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit aldf.org.