Thursday, June 19, 2014

Idaho Man Sentenced for Bettencourt Dairy Animal Abuse

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 1:57 PM

An Idaho judge said a worker caught abusing animals at the former Bettencourt Dairy did not act "with sadistic intent or sadistic pleasure of cruelty to animals" before sentencing the man to nine days on a sheriffs work detail.

But Magistrate Judge Calvin Campbell said 40-year-old Javier Rojas-Loayza was sorting cows "in a manner that inflicted pain to the animals, which is not acceptable," in a June 18 sentencing where Rojas-Loayza was ordered to 180 days in jail, but 170 days were suspended and one day was credited. Judge Campbell said the remaining nine days, on the sheriff's work detail, must be completed within 90 days.

This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that Rojas-Loayza was also banned from herding or supervising animals during two yeas of probation.

In May, Luis Bettendcourt sold his Dry Creek Dairy, the scene of the abuse, to John Glessner, an Iowa farmer who himself has been convicted of violating immigration law and was hit with a four-month prison sentence.

In October 2012, Bettencourt Dairies told Boise Weekly that five of its employees, three of whom faced Idaho state animal cruelty charges, had been terminated for poor treatment of dairy cows.

But it was video of that exact abuse that triggered legislation—the so-called "Ag-Gag Bill," which ultimately became law—that penalizes undercover or journalism organizations from obtaining information or filming operations on Idaho farm operations.

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