“It’s clearly animal cruelty.” –
Animal Services Lt. Mary Kay Gagliardo North County Times
In February, workers at the Ward Egg Ranch in San Diego County,
California threw 30,000 unwanted hens into wood-chipping machinery,
in which a piece of wood is “fed into a chipper’s funnel-shaped
opening, and blades on a rapidly spinning disk or drum cut it into
When County Animal Services investigators told them to stop, they
said the workers continued to throw the live hens into the machinery,
and company owners Arie and Bill Wilgenburg said they were acting
on the advice of a veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On April 10th, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
announced it would not prosecute the Ward Egg Ranch because the
owners claimed to have acted under the direction of a USDA veterinarian,
who has denied advising the company to kill the hens by grinding
them up alive.
Grinding up live animals is not recommended by the 2000 AVMA
Panel on Euthanasia Report, which states: “When animals
must be euthanized, either as individuals or in larger groups, moral
and ethical concerns dictate that humane practices be observed.”
Humane practices were not observed in this case, and it appears
that one or more veterinarians took part in the decision to shred
the unwanted hens while they were alive.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Please urge the deputy district attorney handling this case to charge
everyone responsible for this act of extreme cruelty, especially
any veterinarian who recommended the wood chippers. Grinding up
live adult animals is not listed as a recommended or permissible
method of “euthanasia” under any state or federal law
in the United States.
Elisabeth Silva, Deputy District Attorney’s Office
325 South Melrose Drive, Suite 5000
Vista, CA 92083
Ph: 760-806-4004, option 4
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.UPC-online.org
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.|
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150