Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

April 19, 2013

THEIR VIEW: Death farm violates human decency

The gruesome scene in northern Madison County was beyond comprehension, reminiscent of the worst grade Z horror film imaginable. To those county and state workers who were on the scene, it will be nightmare they will never wake up from. The scene of more than 100 animal corpses and the few living but emaciated animals makes a normal person wretch in disgust.

The farmhouse, west of Summitville, was isolated and the bodies piled up without anyone knowing. As temperatures got warmer, however, the smell began to waft toward the neighbors and someone knew what was going on wasn’t right.

The shame of it was that no one knew sooner when these animals could have been saved.

The owners of the farm, Daniel and Carrie Ault — who also reportedly run a meat-packing plant in Marion and have an interest in the Strawtown Auction of animals — played it off as business as usual. Daniel said he was overwhelmed with his business obligations, and added that he loses animals from stress and shipping, plus he got some bad hay to feed them.

This argument shouldn’t be taken seriously. When people become overwhelmed, the first thing they do is request help. The Aults didn’t do that, and the animal carcasses piled up. Authorities on the scene said there was no food or water for the living animals who wandered among the dead.

When those animals were rescued and taken to homes, they ate and drank furiously. One sheriff’s deputy said they had trouble keeping a water tank full because the animals were drinking so fast.

While these animals were dying, a House committee approved a bill to prohibit undercover videotaping at farms and factories. Rep. Bill Friend, R-Macy, said he sponsored the bill to stop activists from defaming farms and businesses with misleading videos. Detractors of the bill said, rightly, that dangerous conditions might not be found and whistleblowers could be in legal jeopardy. When operations take place without accountability, scenes like the Summitville farm are made easier.

Apparently, this so-called ag-gag bill has been altered so that videotaping and photos will be allowed. The latest version focuses only on criminal trespass and those who gain employment by giving false information in order to gain access to inside information. But if anything could convince legislators that there should be unrelenting scrutiny on farms and factories, the appalling scene in northern Madison County would be example A.

Prosecutor Rodney Cummings has yet to determine what charges will be filed against the Aults.

A petition was presented to Cummings advocating the Aults be charged with multiple felonies, but Cummings has to follow the law despite the emotions that might be running high. The Aults are innocent until proven guilty. We do advocate that Cummings prosecute the Aults to the maximum allowed by law. What was found on that farm violates everything decent in human beings.

The Aults will have their day in court but in the meantime, what can people do to make sure something like this never happens again? Sadly, not much. Animals are property, and their owners can get away with a lot, even deliberate mistreatment. Most of what happens won’t be observed by others.

If it is observed, however, report the offending person. If you see emaciated animals, report where they are. And yes, use your video camera.

— The Herald Bulletin

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • FREY: An ode to service days gone by There were many times in the past year that I walked by the small glass corner curio cabinet.I often glanced at the photographs from the corners of my eyes as I made my way past the nurse’s station and out the pass-coded locked doors.It is one of man

    August 22, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Looking out for youth and e-cigarettes Technology, it seems, finds solutions for just about everything. So it should surprise no one that the tobacco industry, under siege for years for marketing and selling unhealthy products, found a way around the anti-smoking fervor through a smoke-le

    August 22, 2014

  • WOLFSIE: A matter of bad habits Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

    August 22, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Life is not all choices There is a post on Facebook that says, “Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible

    August 21, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Reining in unlimited farm subsidies Reining in unlimitedfarm subsidiesIn January, President Obama declared that despite Congressional logjams, “America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for Ame

    August 21, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why government openness matters One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Continue work of modernizing courts Indiana’s new chief justice, Loretta Rush, has a lot on her plate. She not only has to preside over the Indiana Supreme Court, but also to modernize the state’s other courts as well.Indiana is well on its way toward bringing courts into the 21st cent

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Mo-ped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mo-peds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana.A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 20, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Quality of life and leaders both matter It was with some astonishment and much disappointment I read in the Aug. 5 edition of the Pharos-Tribune that one of our local city councilmen was quoted as saying that previous efforts in Logansport to use Tax Increment Financing money for quality o

    August 20, 2014

  • RAMPELL: Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie WASHINGTON — Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.Yes, that swan-necke

    August 20, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Hamm Talks Emmy Chances Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.