This ought to ruffle the feathers of the PETA crowd…
The Age – San Diego County’s Animal Services Department has filed a complaint against a veterinarian who allegedly authorised a poultry farm to kill 30,000 hens by dumping them alive into a woodchipper.
Reports by the county, recently obtained by the Los Angeles Times, recount workers at the ranch feeding squirming birds by the bucket into the pounding machine, then turning the mashed remains with dirt and heaping the mixture into piles.
The complaint centres on Gregg Cutler, a veterinarian who is also on the animal welfare committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Last winter, Dr Cutler attended a meeting of poultry farmers, veterinarians and state and federal officials to discuss how farmers should deal with chickens and other fowl during the outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease. During the meeting, the group discussed using a woodchipper to destroy birds that could not be moved because of a quarantine.
A few weeks later, in February, Ward Egg Ranch rented a woodchipper to kill hens which, although not infected with the Newcastle disease, had stopped laying eggs. San Diego County authorities received a complaint about the killing, and operators of the poultry farm said they got the idea from Dr Cutler and others at the meeting.In their own defense, meeting attendees said they were just “brainstorming” ideas.