Henshaw convicted– but quash considered

The farmer who lost his boars in a controversial government slaughter was convicted Friday of operating an illegal hunting enclosure, but the judge is considering a motion to quash the complaint.

The September predawn raid of Danny and Cindi Henshaw's Gladstone hunting preserve and slaughter of at least 80 swine– including their two pet pigs– was, the government said, to prevent pseudorabies, a highly infectious disease. However, the case has become a cause c©lšbre among activists distrustful of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dozens of supporters– including the Granny Warriors from North Carolina– showed up in court January 19.

Henshaw's Charlottesville attorney, Norman Lamson, argued that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries had no jurisidiction to arrest Henshaw because state code does not list hogs as one of the seven wild animals that fall under Department dominion. Buckingham County judge Bobby Woodson will consider the motion to quash and issue a decision February 16.

Less successful was Henshaw's argument that his boar preserve, Willis River Hunting, was a private club. The judge disagreed and convicted him on the Class 2 misdemeanor charge of operating a hunting enclosure without a license.