In February earlier this year, the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency received a call 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 approximately 2 weeks. An estimated 17,000 chickens were found dead upon arrival.
Annette Patton, Executive Director of the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, explained that the 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.
While owner of A&L Poultry, Andy Keung Cheung, did not comment on the incident at the time, a press release was sent out stating that Cheung did nothing inappropriate in the situation.
“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 the 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.”
Rescue groups and citizens came together to help the abandoned animals, included Animal Place (from Grass Valley and Vacaville), Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary (based in Stockton), and Farm Sanctuary.
While many of the animals were saved through the efforts of these rescue groups, the negligence and cruelty towards the animals by A&L Poultry has resulted in a lawsuit.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit, representing Animal Place, Farm Sanctuary, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, against A&L Poultry, seeking recognition of the interests of the hens, and to hold the farmers responsible for their disregard of the welfare of the abandoned animals.
The owners of A&L Poultry sought to have the case dismissed, however, on December 5th, the Stanislaus County Superior Court rejected the farmer’s arguments, permitting the case to move forward.
More information on the final ruling by the Stanislaus County Superior Court regarding the lawsuit against A&L Poultry will be released as the case progresses.
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