FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 4, 2001
| Contact: ||
Karen Davis 757-678-7875 |
Trooper Who Intentionally Roadkilled
a Beloved Turkey Goes Free
A Real Life Example of Men Behaving Badly
Machipongo, VA - On June 1st, prosecuting attorney David Torgelson of
Renville County Minnesota announced he will not prosecute MN state
trooper Mark Lund for intentionally driving his squad car over an
adult turkey hen in front of the Carver County Courthouse on May 3rd.
Lund was to have been arraigned on charges of animal cruelty today,
but Torgelson decided not to let a jury decide whether Lund's cruelty
District attorney Torgelson claims trooper Lund acted in "good faith"
by running over the turkey in broad daylight in the middle of town.
He says Lund's cruelty was "justifiable" because Mr. VanderWeyst, an
employee of the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR), advised
Lund to "run over it with your squad."
Had it been necessary to remove the turkey from the area, Lund could
have contacted a licensed humane officer to capture the bird at
roost. Any number of animal sanctuaries would gladly have adopted the
turkey if Mr. Lund had bothered to explore reasonable and humane
alternatives. Minnesota taxpayers can take no pride in state trooper
Lund and DNR employee VanderWeyst as part of the state's law
enforcement team. They both should be fired.
Mr. Torgelson told United Poultry Concerns on June 1st that if
"somebody else," like a teenager, had done what Lund did to the bird,
prosecution would have been appropriate, but Lund's position excuses
him. In fact, trooper Lund's position places more responsibility on
him, not less. Mr. Torgelson's message to the community is that a law
officer is above the law and has even less obligation than others to
act wisely and humanely. Indeed, Torgelson's records show that as
soon as the DNR learned that the turkey "was important to the
community," they wished they would have advised Lund (who was under
no obligation to follow their advice in any case) to act differently,
"but it was too late." Thus the killing was anything but nonoptional,
"Mr. Torgelson's decision not to prosecute trooper Lund compounds
Lund's crime against the defenseless bird and those who fed and
befriended her," said United Poultry Concerns president Karen Davis
on hearing the news. "No one benefits from this mishandled episode
but those seeking excuses to be cruel. These so-called law enforcers
have let all of our communities down."
United Poultry Concerns is a national nonprofit public information
animal advocacy organization promoting the compassionate and
respectful treatment of domestic fowl. For more information, visit
our web site at www.UPC-online.org