On February 21, 2012, the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency received a call by a concerned citizen regarding a property at 9501 S. Carpenter Road, just west of Turlock, where an estimated 50,000 abandoned chickens were left without being fed for about two weeks. An estimated 17,000 chickens were found dead upon arrival.
Annette Patton, Executive Director of the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, explained that her agency seized the property rented to A&L Poultry and took control over the animals on the same day as they received the call and responded the very next day.
Upon arriving at the egg farm, an estimated 17,000 chickens were found dead as they were destroyed out of their cages inside the buildings. Many more were humanely euthanized and all the dead chickens were taken to the landfill.
Patton said on Tuesday that her agency is done at the site and that the incident is still being investigated. The owner of A&L Poultry, Andy Keung Cheung, could possibly face criminal charges of Animal Cruelty and Animal Neglect.
When Cheung was contacted by phone, he would not comment on the incident and referred all inquiries to his legal representation, Martha Carlton-Magaña.
Cheung’s legal representation said that they would not play this out in the media with comments but did state that Cheung did nothing inappropriate and sent out a press release.
“A&L Poultry has been in the process of arranging the shut down of its egg production operations utilizing the industry’s business practices and standards,” stated Magaña in a press release. “An attempt to arrange for delivery of the chickens to a third party in order to avoid the usual business practice of euthanizing the chickens resulted in an unacceptable situation A&L Poultry did not intend, and profoundly regrets.”
With the help of the non-profit rescue groups including Animal Place (from Grass Valley and Vacaville) and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary (based in Stockton), about 4,460 hens have be rescued from the starvation incident.
“The majority of the surviving hens were taken in by Animal Place. We can use all the assistance we can get caring for the survivors, whether it is donations, volunteers, or people who would like to adopt some of these hens when they are stable enough,” said Kristin Rodriguez, Rescue Ranch Adoption Coordinator, in a TurlockCityNews.com comment.
Animal Farm has reported that they are going through more than 15 bags of chicken feed a day to nourish the hens’ broken bodies. Dozens of hens still require tube feeding and special mashed feed to repair the damage they suffered from starvation and life on an industrial egg farm.
To volunteer, adopt a hen or donate to Animal Place, visit their website www.animalplace.org or call (530) 477-1757. The website for Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary is www.harvesthomeanimal.org.