Daryl Larson beats rap again ––but HFA wins law against farm animal neglect in Calif.
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1999:
Hog farmer and ex-veterinarian Daryl
Larson, 46, on October 20, 1999 escaped conviction
for allegedly abandoning 315 pigs on a farm near
Wyoming, Iowa, when a Jones County District
Court jury declared it could not reach a unanimous
verdict. No date was set for retrial.
The starving pigs were found on October
27, 1998, cannibalizing the remains of others.
Larson was previously convicted of leaving hogs to
starve in Clinton County, Iowa, in 1997; abandoning
as many as 2,000 hogs to starve near Craig,
Missouri, in 1995; not properly disposing of the
remains of 261 hogs who starved on his land near Des
Moines in 1994; and not properly disposing of about
300 hogs who allegedly starved on another of his
Iowa properties in 1993.
Larson dodged the 1998 charges just a week
before testimony from Royal SPCA inspector Rob
Skinner sent Cornwall sheep-and-cattle farmer Roger
Baker, 57, to jail for animal abandonment for the
eighth time since 1969. Convicted of cruelty more
often than anyone else since the present British anticruelty
law was introduced in 1911, Baker drew five
and a half months in custody for allegedly neglecting
259 sheep and 15 cows. A lifetime ban on keeping
sheep was extended to keeping any animals.
The Larson hung jury and light sentence
given to Baker underscored the value of a rare and little
publicized legislative victory for farm animals won
in Sacramento, California on September 1 by the
Humane Farming Association, Fund for Animals,
and California state assembly member Ed Vincent (DInglewood),
when California governor Gray Davis
signed into law AB 1540, amending the state law
against animal abandonment to apply to “any animal”
instead of just “any domestic dog or cat.”
The new law means that farmers who abandon
whole herds are now subject to penalties as severe
as those given to people who neglect or abandon pets.
An ANIMAL PEOPLE review of data
from 688 recent U.S. cases of mass animal neglect
found that 19% of the alleged perpetrators claimed to
be farmers. The full report appeared in our
January/February 1999 edition.