Plea expected in animal cruelty case
A Tavistock man charged in connection with the deaths of more than 1,500 pigs near Frogmore in February is scheduled to enter a plea in the new year.
In the Ontario Court of Justice in Simcoe Thursday, Crown attorney Elizabeth Wade said Benjamin Stein, 27, will enter a plea Jan. 18.
Wade told Justice Barry Quinn she is negotiating the plea with Stein’s lawyer.
“It means that the matter is likely to resolve without the necessity of a trial,” Wade told The Reformer.
Stein was in the gallery at the provincial offences court in downtown Simcoe. It took about a minute to dispense with this latest appearance. Stein did not address the court.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals leveled eight charges against Stein after hundreds of pigs were found dead or dying at a hog operation near Frogmore last winter.
During an inspection, 1,265 pigs were discovered dead in a flooded, manure-filled barn. The OSPCA says the animals had no access to food. For humane reasons, an additional 250 pigs were euthanized on site.
The charges against Stein are based in the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1990).
Stein has been charged with causing an animal to be in distress; permitting an animal to be in distress; failure to provide adequate food and water; failure to provide adequate and appropriate sanitary conditions; failure to provide adequate and appropriate resting and sleeping areas for the animals in question; failure to provide adequate and appropriate ventilation; failure to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention; and failure to provide adequate and appropriate protection from the elements, including harmful temperatures.