Monterey County

Monterey County DA reaches settlement with produce grower

SALINAS, Calif. - South County Packing, Inc. reached a settlement with Monterey County prosecutors in the unlawful shooting of two deer and four non-game birds.

South County Packing, Inc. operates Rava Ranches, a produce grower located in southern Monterey County illegally shot the animals in 2013 in response to perceived food safety concerns. That was a violation of the California Fish and Game Code and Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. The deer were killed out of season, using improper lead shotgun ammunition and without tags or permits. The birds also were killed using improper lead ammunition and were unlawfully possessed.

South County Packing has agreed to pay a $20,000 settlement, which includes civil penalties, costs and a $3,000 supplemental environment project. That fee was awarded to the Monterey County Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund for the Monterey County Fish and Game Advisory Commission. The money will be used to provide education related to wildlife and resource management.

The company also agreed to implement policies to prevent these types of incidents from occurring again, and a permanent injunction was issued to require the company to comply with Fish and Wildlife-related laws and regulations.

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