Animal Place Celebrates Anniversary of Largest Rescue
Felony Animal Cruelty Charges Filed Against Egg Farmers
February 19, 2013-
Animal Place is celebrating the first anniversary of the largest rescue of farmed animals in California history. A year ago, Animal Place spear-headed a two-day effort that resulted in the rescue of nearly 5,000 hens from an egg farm. More than 4,000 were taken in by Animal Place.
Last week, Animal Place was present as the Stanislaus County District Attorney filed felony animal cruelty charges against Andy Cheung and Lien Diep, owners of A&L Poultry. They face up to three years in prison and fines of up to $20,000. Cheung and Diep will be arraigned Monday, February 11, 2013.
In February of 2012, A&L Poultry left the 50,000 hens in their care without food for more than two weeks. A third starved to death before officials discovered the suffering chickens. More than 25,000 were gassed by state officials.
Animal Place is celebrating the 1-yr-anniversary of this monumental rescue with a release this Friday of a feature length documentary about the rescue. The film will be submitted to film festivals in the coming months. Additionally, visitors are invited for self-guided tours of our 600-acre sanctuary where they can see some of the Turlock hens enjoying their lives of freedom.
Animal Place, Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary, and several other rescue agencies were able to rescue 4,460 of the surviving hens. It was the largest rescue of farmed animals in California history. Animal Place coordinated the two-day rescue effort and took in 4,100 of the hens, keeping 100 permanently at their 600-acre sanctuary in Grass Valley and placing the remaining hens into loving homes through their adoption program, Rescue Ranch. The last remaining hens were placed last month. Approved adopters are available for interviews.
In addition to the felony cruelty charges, Animal Place, Farm Sanctuary, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary filed a historic civil lawsuit against Cheung and Diep. Represented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Schiff Hardin, the lawsuit seeks to hold A&L Poultry accountable for the costs associated with the monumental rescue of 4,460 hens.
While horrific, A&L Poultry is not alone in mistreating hens on egg farms. 95% of the nearly 400 million hens used to produce eggs are housed in cages so small the hens cannot spread their wings. Nearly all hens on egg farms have a portion of their nerve-sensitive beak cut off to prevent pecking caused by confinement. And, each year 150-200 million male chicks are ground up alive because they do not lay eggs and are not profitable to raise for human consumption.
Filing criminal charges is a major victory for farmed animal welfare – California is one of a small contingency of states that includes farmed animals in their anti-cruelty statutes. Rarely are charges filed against large-scale farmers.
Surviving hens are available for photography and video at our Grass Valley facility.
About Animal Place
Founded in 1989 Animal Place is one of the oldest and largest sanctuaries for farmed animals in the country, operating two facilities in northern California. Nestled on 600-acres in Grass Valley, CA, Animal Place's primary sanctuary provides refuge to hundreds of neglected farmed animals. Animal Place strives to create meaningful change for farmed animals through advocacy and education. Thousands of visitors flock to the sanctuary each year to learn more about the animals and farming. Volunteer classes introduce folks to more ways people can help. Internships are also available. For more information visit, www.animalplace.org or call 530-477-1757.
About Animal Place's Rescue Ranch
Started in 2010 on the former 60-acre site of Animal Place's sanctuary, Rescue Ranch is a unique program that involves working directly with farmers and animal control agencies to take in farmed animals who would otherwise face slaughter or euthanasia. Each year, thousands of farmed animals, primarily chickens from the egg industry, are rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed.