Animal & Veterinary
Sentencing In Residue Case
August 9, 1996
On July 24, 1996, W.W. Bennett Hurt was sentenced to 6 months in jail followed by 12 months of supervised release (probation), a $2500.00 fine, and the court's special assessment fee. Hurt was a livestock dealer from Blacksburg, Virginia, who offered at least 150 animals for slaughter for human consumption containing illegal levels of a variety of new animal drugs. Mr. Hurt often knew that the animals had been medicated, and used false names to avoid detection by State and Federal officials. Many of these illegal residues were thousands of times higher than the permitted levels or they were residues of drugs that have not been approved for use in those animals.
FDA is concerned about the indiscriminate purchase and sale of animals for slaughter for human food that may contain illegal levels of animal drugs because of their potential for adverse effects on human health. New animal drugs are approved by FDA with strict use requirements, including a specified time period to withdraw an animal from treatment prior to marketing, to assure the drug has depleted from edible tissue to a level that will not present harm to the consuming public.
Hurt was warned repeatedly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services about violative drug residue that had been found in cows he brought to slaughter. Despite those warnings, Hurt continued to sell the medicated animals.
Hurt's incarceration is expected to begin September 9, 1996. This case was the result of a cooperative effort between the Department of Justice, FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the state of Virginia. This is the first prosecution of a livestock dealer for illegal residues, and should send a strong message to others in the livestock dealing industry to take seriously their responsibility to assure that they do not pass on adulterated food to the consumer.