Animal rights activists documented newborn chicks being abused and killed at the Cal-Cruz Hatchery.
Compassion over Killing, an animal rights group based in Washington DC, documented a series of abuses against newly hatched chicks and ducklings at the Cal-Cruz Hatchery in Santa Cruz. When the DA's office refused to take up the case, the group released a video of the abuses
on YouTube, hoping to win support for its cause.
The disturbing video, which shows chicks drowning, and being steamed and mangled to death, did get the attention of the Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority, which paid a visit to the hatchery to investigate the charges. During the visit, 88 sick and mangled ducklings were confiscated. Of these 48 were treated and sent to animal shelters, while the remainder was euthanized.
Brian Collins, President of Cal-Cruz Hatchery, confirmed that the video was taken in his facility, and said that employees get desensitized to the birds' suffering over time. "For them, it's a job," he said. Nevertheless, he did indicate that some changes will be made, particularly to the way that discarded chicks are disposed. He is considering reducing the time they spend waiting for disposal from 30 minutes to 15.
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