West Virginia Refuses To Prosecute Slaughterhouse Cruelty

On Thursday (1/11), Ginny Conley, head of a state prosecutors organization, announced that no criminal charges would be filed in response to documented and massive animal cruelty at Pilgrim's Pride slaughterhouse in Moorefield, West Virginia.

Undercover video shot at the Pilgrim's Pride facility in August 2004 clearly shows workers maliciously stomping on chickens, kicking them and hurling them against a wall. Eyewitness reports further state that workers twisted chickens' heads off, sprayed aerosol paint into their eyes and dumped suffering, incapacitated birds in a trash bin to die.

According to Conley, the decision to not prosecute came in part "due to the fact that these were chickens in a slaughterhouse", and that she feels the case "needs to be handled more on a regulatory end than prosecuting someone criminally." However, West Virginia's animal cruelty law prohibits the intentional torture or mistreatment of all animals, including chickens in a slaughterhouse. Moreover, there are no state or federal regulations dealing with the humane slaughter of chickens.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact Ginny Conley and urge the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute to reconsider the recent decision to not file charges in the case against Pilgrim's Pride. Remind her of the legal obligation to enforce state law in the face of documented animal abuse and to charge all responsible parties at Pilgrim's Pride with animal cruelty.

Ginny Conley, Acting Executive Director
West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute
90 MacCorkle Ave. S.W., Ste. 202
South Charleston, WV 25303
304-558-3348

304-558-3360 (fax)

Please cc your letters to:
Governor Bob Wise
Governor-Elect Joe Manchin
Office of the Governor
State Capitol Complex
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 25305

Fax: 304-558-2722

Email: Governor@WVGov.org

If you haven't done so already, please sign HSUS' Petition for Poultry, asking the USDA to include poultry (which comprise 90% of the animals slaughtered in the U.S.) under the federal Humane Slaughter Act.

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