Latting pleads guilty to cruelty

Kankakee Daily Journal

Morris - St. Anne rodeo producer Mike Latting pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty Wednesday in circuit court at Morris.

Latting was fined $300 and sentenced to six months court supervision.

Charges were brought against Latting following an incident last fall at a Morris rodeo.

Videotape evidence provided by animal rights activist Steve Hindi showed electric prods being used to agitate bulls in the chutes prior to an event.

Latting, who provided livestock for the rodeo, and fellow bull owner Juaquin Santos of Indiana were both charged in what is believed to be the first rodeo-related case of animal cruelty in Illinois.

Latting, who is principal at Donovan High School, was not available for comment today. He had denied the accusations last April but refused to comment on the case in The Journal. Santos also denied the charges.

Hindi, president of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, spurred state officials three years ago to take steps ensuring better treatment of animals at rodeo. He and others used videotapes to record alleged abuse at the National High School Finals Rodeo held July 2000 in Springfield.

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