Calif. beef plant worker sentenced in abuse case

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 A former slaughterhouse worker was sentenced Wednesday to jail and probation after being seen abusing sick and injured cattle in a secretly taped video that prompted the largest beef recall in U.S. history.

Daniel Ugarte Navarro pleaded no contest in June to two felony counts of animal cruelty and two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to downed animals.

The Humane Society of the United States shot the video at Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, leading to a federal investigation and the recall of 143 million pounds of beef in February.

The video shows the workers dragging sick cows with metal chains and forklifts, shocking them with electric prods and shooting streams of water in their noses and faces.

Navarro's attorney, Ruben Salazar, has said that his client was following orders and that prosecutors overcharged Navarro to appease an angry public and animal rights activists.

Navarro, 49, can serve his nine months of jail time on weekends and must undergo counseling, the San Bernardino County district attorney's office said. The jail has discretion to use electronic monitoring, spokeswoman Susan Mickey said.

County Judge Gerard Brown also placed Navarro on three years of felony probation.

Another worker, Rafael Sanchez Herrera, pleaded guilty in March to three misdemeanor counts of illegal movement of a non-ambulatory animal and was sentenced to six months in jail.

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