Friday, July 9


Michael Latting of Latting Rodeo Productions received a $300 fine and six months of court supervision last month for animal cruelty, namely using prods on bulls during a rodeo in 2003. The Illinois Department of Agriculture said it was the first such guilty plea in state history. A video shows Latting electrically prodding the animal while it was still in a holding chute at the rodeo. So after lying about having used the prod and getting caught, what does our cowboy do? Lie some more, of course! "Latting contends he used an electric prod without batteries. He said he pleaded guilty because it was the easiest way out." Oh, OK. That makes perfect sense. And by the way, "Grundy County Assistant State's Attorney Jack Schaller said the evidence against Latting comes from witness complaints and a private videotape made at the Morris rodeo. 'This is not a very common thing,' he said. 'It just doesn't happen, probably because it's still an agrarian area here and most people have an understanding and respect for their animals.'" Yep, nothing says respect for animals like events based on taunting and torturing them for people's amusement. Great point, Jack.
UPDATE 7/16: I heard from one of the folks involved in the videotaping of this rodeo, who reminds us, "we are alwayslooking for more volunteer abuse investigators around the country." Keeping in mind that this clear-cut case would likely have been no case without the video documentation, if you can weild a camcorder and have some spare time, send an e-mail or check for more info.

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