LIVE OAK – A Washington-based animal rights group has reached a settlement with the now-defunct Cal-Cruz Hatcheries of Live Oak in a lawsuit alleging widespread animal abuse and neglect.

The hatchery, which processed millions of chickens and ducks each year, is no longer in operation and its representatives have agreed to no longer own or have custody of any animal that’s not a pet.

Compassion Over Killing, represented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed a suit against Cal-Cruz in January, arguing the hatchery was violating California Business and Professions Code by practicing unlawful animal cruelty. The allegations stemmed from an investigation in 2009 in which an employee of Compassion over Killing secretly documented the treatment of chickens and ducks with a hidden video camera.

Viewer Discretion is Advised 

That footage was turned over to county Animal Services officials, who conducted their own investigation and gave their findings to the Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s office declined to file charges, saying at the time that while it shared the public’s revulsion at the abuse of animals, there wasn’t enough evidence to build a criminal case against Cal-Cruz specifically.

Compassion Over Killing turned to the civil court, reaching a settlement Monday with Cal-Cruz and owner Brian Collins in what the nonprofit animal advocacy group calls the “first time allegations of animal cruelty were successfully resolved using this civil law.” The organization’s suit claimed that Collins and the hatchery were using unlawful business practices that unfairly harmed competition in the poultry industry.

Among other complaints, Compassion Over Killing claimed Cal-Cruz employees were “operating heavy machinery in a manner that regularly mutilates hatchlings,” that they drowned baby birds in buckets of waste and threw hatchlings several feet into trash bins where they remained for several hours.

Read the rest of this news:-http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_20842303/animal-rights-group-reaches-settlement-now-defunct-live

Advertisements