Augusta Free Press

Herring secures more convictions in animal cruelty cases

Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that his Animal Law Unit secured seven more convictions in animal cruelty cases in Mecklenburg and Buckingham counties. Attorney General Herring and his Animal Law Unit secured three convictions in Mecklenburg and Lunenburg counties in June related to similar abuses at a Tyson breeder farm.

“These convictions send a clear, strong signal across the Commonwealth that my team and I take these crimes seriously, and that those who commit cruelty to animals will be held accountable for their actions,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Mistreatment of animals is both inhumane and illegal, and I’m glad to see the perpetrators of these crimes brought to justice.”

“Compassion Over Killing applauds the prosecution’s work and the decisions from the court to uphold anti-cruelty laws and protect animals from such horrific cruelty to birds as documented by our undercover investigator working for Tyson,” said Cheryl Leahy, General Counsel for Compassion Over Killing.  “This is a landmark victory in achieving justice for farm animals.”

Those convicted are:

Senior Assistant Attorney General Michelle Welch and Assistant Attorney General Kelci Block prosecuted the cases for the Office of the Attorney General.

Attorney General Herring established a first of its kind Animal Law Unit in January 2015. It has been recognized by the Norfolk SPCA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund for its groundbreaking trainings, complex investigations, and prosecutions of animal cruelty.