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January 5, 2000

Judge Sprigman
502 Salem Avenue
P.O. Box 682
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Re: Meredith Farms - Animal Cruelty Case
Defendant: Paul Waters, Jr.

Honorable Judge Sprigman:

News of the above-referenced case reached me via an e-mail "pen" pal from New Jersey who was stunned by the alleged actions of Mr. Paul Waters, Jr., former owner of Meredith Farms. When my friend wrote to me that Mr. Waters had been charge with animal cruelty for closing his chicken slaughtering plant (Meredith Farms) in August of last year abandoning 31 chickens on the farm without food or water, I joined him in being stunned and disgusted.

Your Honor, I am a firm believer in the principals of our judicial system and always strive to remember that a man is innocent until proven guilty. I am not a resident of your fair state and thus could not sit on the jury for a case against Mr. Walters, which means that I am not in a position to judge his guilt or innocence. But you and a local jury will be in that position. Should Mr. Walter is declared guilty by that jury of his peers, I ask that you issue him the maximum sentence permitted by law. I request this because I know that a man in his position, who had run a poultry factory farm, would have known that abandoning those poor creatures in such a manner would result in a slow and torturous death for them. He was not ignorant of what lack of food or water would do to them, and if he is proved guilty, he should be punished for such a deliberately cruel action.

Standing up for animals is not always an easy and popular thing to do these days, but more and more judges like you are taking that stand and enforcing the laws set up by other governmental bodies to protect such animals. Just last year the Wall Street Journal published an article stating that more harsh judgements were being handed down against convicted animal abusers in an effort to deter deliberate cruelty and/or ignorant neglect.

As I said, I am not a resident of your state, but I don't feel restricted by state lines when it comes to doing the right thing and standing up for something I believe in. I hope you share my conviction that we are all bound by moral and ethical obligations to protect those weaker than we are--be they human or non-human--and are not limited in our responsibilities to all creatures of this planet.

Thank you for sharing some of your valuable time with me by reading this letter.

Sincerely,

Leigh-Anne Dennison




January 5, 2000

Mr. Russell Paul
Town Prosecutor
39 South Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Re: Meredith Farms - Animal Cruelty Case
Defendant: Paul Waters, Jr.

Dear Mr. Paul:

News of the above-referenced case reached me via an e-mail "pen" pal from New Jersey who was stunned by the alleged actions of Mr. Paul Waters, Jr., former owner of Meredith Farms. When my friend wrote to me that Mr. Waters had been charge with animal cruelty for closing his chicken slaughtering plant (Meredith Farms) in August of last year abandoning 31 chickens on the farm without food or water, I joined him in being stunned and disgusted.

I am a firm believer in the principals of our judicial system and always strive to remember that a man is innocent until proven guilty. From the information forwarded me, I also believe that the SPCA of Gloucester County (NJ) has given just cause and sufficient evidence for a conviction on the charges of cruelty to animals.

Standing up for animals is not always an easy or popular thing to do these days, but more often prosecutors like you are taking these crimes more seriously and prosecuting the perpetrators of them, and for that I wish to thank you. I do encourage you to prosecute Mr. Waters to the fullest extent of the law.

I request this because I know that a man in his position, who had run a poultry factory farm, would have known that abandoning those poor creatures in such a manner would result in a slow and torturous death for them. He was not ignorant of what lack of food or water would do to them, and if he is proved guilty, he should be punished for such a deliberately cruel action.

Mr. Paul, while I am not a resident of your state, I don't feel that I am restricted by state lines when it comes to doing the right thing and standing up for something I believe in. I believe you share my conviction that we are all bound by moral and ethical obligations to protect those weaker than we are--be they human or non-human--and are not limited in our responsibilities to all creatures of this planet.

Thank you for sharing some of your valuable time with me by reading this letter.

Sincerely,

Leigh-Anne Dennison




UPDATE FROM UNITED POULTRY CONCERNS
Meredith Farms Chicken Abandonment Case Postponed

United Poultry Concerns wishes to thank everyone who responded to our action alert urging people to contact prosecuting attorney Russell Paul and Judge Sprigman and urge them to prosecute and convict Paul Waters, the owner of Meredith Farm chicken slaughtering plant in Franklin Township, New Jersey. Mr. Waters abandoned 31 chickens to die of hunger and thirst last August.

Today, Mr. Paul, the prosecuting attorney advised United Poultry Concerns as follows: "Today, Mr. Waters faxed a letter to our Court asking for additional time in order to prepare a defense. At the call of the list at 4:30 pm, Mr. Waters did not appear. As Prosecutor, I asked for a warrant for his arrest; Judge Sprigman issued a Bench Warrant and set bail at five thousand ($5,000.00) dollars, full cash. At such time as Mr. Waters is arrested, the case against him can proceed.

All criminal defendants, including Mr. Waters, are presumed innocent until proven guilty on the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Mr. Waters will be given all his Constitutional and legal rights. However, I assure you I will vigorously prosecute this case. In the event Mr. Waters is found guilty of the charge of cruelty to animals I will (a) ask for the maximum penalty allowed and (b) make the Court aware of the interest expressed by those who have contacted me to express their condemnation of animal cruelty.

I will advise you when this matter is next scheduled for Court. Thank you for your interest. --Russell E. Paul, Prosecutor, Franklin Township, New Jersey."

United Poultry Concerns will advise everyone of further developments. Thanks!

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