PETA weighs in on North County sheep deaths
May 13, 2014
Animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is faulting the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office for not criminally charging local rancher Jean Jaureguy in the deaths of 25 sheep. [Tribune]
In February, a hiker discovered dozens of abnormally thin and weak sheep near trails at Heritage Ranch. The hiker also found dead sheep in ravines, in a creek and on a hillside.
But, the sheriff’s office determined that Jaureguy’s sheep died from a mild winter storm, as opposed to from neglect. High winds and excessive rains caused the deaths, the sheriff’s investigation concluded.
Stephanie Bell, casework director for PETA’s cruelty investigations department, disputed the sheriff’s office findings.
“The California penal code is quite clear,” Bell said. “If an animal is subjected to needless suffering, that constitutes cruelty, and these animals clearly suffered unnecessarily.”
Bell also said that the rancher left the sheep outdoors in cold, windy and wet conditions shortly after shearing them. The sheering could have been delayed based on the weather forecast, Bell said.