50,000 Layer Hens Abandoned in California

February 23, 2012

I blogged yesterday about the ongoing chicken industry meltdown.

When there’s a slowdown in the auto industry, you frequently end up with abandoned factories and discarded machinery. But when tough times hit animal agribusiness, what often happens is the farmer abandons his animals without food. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve encountered stories like this.

It’s happened yet again. About 50,000 egg laying hens were abandoned in California a week or two ago. And between then and their discovery by a law enforcement, about one-third of the birds perished. Most of the survivors are in such bad shape that they’ll be euthanized as well.

The article reports that the farm’s owner, Andy Keung Cheung, will almost certainly be charged with cleanup costs, and may be charged with animal cruelty. They don’t say if he’s in custody, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Prosecutors virtually never take cruelty to chickens seriously—even if that cruelty involves tens of thousands of birds. If he’s punished as severely as somebody caught on video kicking a dog, I’d be shocked. Link.

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