Billy Joe Gregg, Jr., 25, a farm worker at Ohio’s Conklin Dairy Farms appeared in court last week, charged with 12 counts of cruelty to animals.
The charges came after the animal welfare group Mercy for Animals released graphic video from a four-week undercover investigation. [View the Undercover Video]
Among other abuses, the footage shows Gregg and fellow workers at Conklin Dairy Farms:
- Beating cows with crowbars
- Stabbing cows with pitchforks
- Kicking "downed" cows (those too injured to stand) in the face and neck
- Holding down newborn calves and stomping on their heads
"This is probably the most gratuitous, sustained, sadistic animal abuse I have ever seen. The video depicts calculated, deliberate cruelty, based not on momentary rage but on taking pleasure through causing pain to cows and calves who are defenseless."
- Dr. Bernard Rollin, Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University
Gregg is the first perpetrator to be charged after MFA contacted the City Prosecutor's Office of Marysville regarding the ongoing abuse documented at Conklin Dairy Farms.
The judge issued a $100,000 bond and ordered Gregg not to have any contact with or be in any position as a caregiver for domestic animals.
Each of the 12 charges holds a maximum fine of $750 and is punishable by 90 days in jail. However, according to news reports, this jail time would be served concurrently, meaning that Gregg would only serve 90 days of total jail time. You be the judge: view the video and see if this punishment fits the crime.
If you don’t think 90 days is enough jail time, then please:
- Contact your state legislators and demand laws that provide meaningful punishment for cruelty against farm animals. As food animals, livestock and poultry are exempt from what we normally consider cruelty, and this must change.
- Contact your federal elected officials and let them know you want legislation passed to make such cruelty against farm animals a federal felony offense.
FYI: A bill introduced in 2008 during the 110th Congress, the Farm Animals Anti-Cruelty Act (H.R. 6202), would have required the following:
“[w]hoever, without justification, kills, mutilates, disfigures, tortures, or intentionally causes an animal held for commercial use pain or suffering, or has responsibility for an animal held for commercial use and fails to provide food, water, shelter, and health care as is necessary to assure the animal’s health and wellbeing appropriate to the animal’s age and species,” is subject to penalties of up to one year in jail and/or $100,000 in fines. “Commercial use” would mean “use, or intended for use, as food or fiber or for food or fiber production.”
Update: Billy Joe Gregg has also been charged with one count of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony.