Egg Producer Permanently Removed From Industry in Settlement

Posted on August 21, 2014

For immediate release:

Contact:
Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF

SAN FRANCISCO — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is announcing a settlement on behalf of plaintiffs Animal Place, Farm Sanctuary, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary in the animal groups’ lawsuit against egg industry defendants Andy Cheung and Lien Diep. The defendants abandoned 50,000 hens without food at a facility near Turlock, which led to the largest farmed animal rescue in California history. The settlement permanently prohibits Cheung, who managed the facility, from working directly with animals again—and places similar restrictions on Diep.

In February 2012, Cheung and Diep, doing business as A & L Poultry, abandoned 50,000 hens without food and left them to die. Tens of thousands of the birds starved to death while others drowned in giant manure pits under their cages. Animal Place, Farm Sanctuary, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary were able to rescue approximately 5,000 birds.

ALDF and the law firm Schiff Hardin provided pro bono counsel, suing A & L Poultry on behalf of the sanctuaries that rescued and rehabilitated the surviving hens. At the sanctuaries, these hens were able to engage in natural behaviors and feel the earth beneath their feet for the first time in their lives and most have been adopted into loving homes.

Cheung and Diep still face criminal prosecution for felony animal cruelty in February 2013. Each defendant faces up to three years in prison and fines of up to $20,000 under California Penal Code section 597(b), which makes it a crime to deprive animals of proper food, water, or shelter, or to inflict needless suffering and unnecessary cruelty.

“The egg industry is rife with routine animal suffering, but today’s settlement ensures that those responsible for the tragedy in Turlock are permanently out of the business of raising animals,” said Matthew Liebman, senior attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Copies of the lawsuit and the documentary film Turlock, which chronicles the dramatic rescue of the hens, are available by request.


25 thoughts on “Egg Producer Permanently Removed From Industry in Settlement

  1. kathy says:

    I’m so glad they are out of business of raising animals and I hope they don’t go under another name to start again. Thoughts poor chickens didn’t deserve that .

  2. a ansfield says:

    Hoorah for ALDF and the law firm Schiff Hardin for their work on this and other animal abuse cases that are so rampant in today’s greedy society. Thanks for bringing this to light so we can all know what goes on behind closed doors or out of sight from the public. If only all facilities housing animals would have glass doors ….

  3. Dorothy Silva says:

    Yeaaa! And more power to you and the poor chickens too. Keep on fighting the good fight and for the defensless animals.

  4. Dale Mellis says:

    Well done to ALDF for rescuing those poor chickens. I just don’t think that 3 years in prison for the scum who caused the suffering and death of the thousands of chickens is a big enough deterrent. I pray they suffer in heinous ways while serving their time.

  5. mike onusic says:

    I hope those two jerks get prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Prison is too good for these two.

  6. Laura Valdez says:

    One for the animals. Thank You.

  7. Nancy Poznak says:

    FANTASTIC although heart-breaking so many beautiful innocent creatures died horrific deaths. Thank you for saving those you could, and for the success of this lawsuit. The Global Conservation at http://www.globalconservationgroup.org/ is another wonderful group of folks dedicated to justice through legal action, petitioning, and voluntary support.

  8. Susan says:

    Thank you ALDF, Animal Place, Farm Sanctuary, and Harvest Home. Your work is so important. Thank you!

  9. I hope the Judge gives them prison time and a hefty fine and not just a slap on the wrist ! They need to be made to pay for all the lives lost, most horrible to drowned in manure and starve to death ! Good thing I am not the Judge !

  10. Debra says:

    Congrats on winning the suit. But the criminal charges–3 years for letting 50,000 hens starve? Even with the fine, that’s not enough. It’s time for states to get serious about penalties for animal abuse. What’s currently on the books does not constitute justice by any means…

  11. Amanda Sather says:

    Thank you for inspiring us up here in Canada to look into whether the legal precedent of suing to recover costs of rescue and rehabilitation could be possible.

    Please realize everyone, that if people don’t buy the “cheap eggs” from the grocery store, these men would never have been in business. Battery cages are used for producing the inexpensive eggs that I hope none of us will ever buy again.

  12. Kim S says:

    Thank you for your good work…Please continue the fight to save animals from human cruelty and abuse. Punishment should reflect the heinous nature of these crimes!

  13. cheryl says:

    THANK GOD FOR HUMANITY

  14. Chuck LaMark says:

    Great job! I’m so glad you were able to save at least some of the poor animals. Hopefully in the future we won’t be eating chickens or their eggs. Thank you for the job you do. Chuck

  15. Awesome job we need to have higher standards when buying food…

  16. Sharon Kennedy says:

    All glory and honor to the Lord for this victory and thanks to ALDF for their persistence in delivering justice for all creatures.

  17. Darby Atler says:

    I do not three years is long enough for that many lives! Thank you for doing a very good job of helping these beautiful hens, I think they should hang.

    1. RM says:

      Or, we need to completely rethink our definition of ‘food’. There’s no need to torture and brutalise any animal for sustenance. It’s barbaric, backwards, environmentally destructive and a complete waste of Earth’s dwindling fresh water.

    2. RM says:

      Sorry, that reply was intended for Angelina Miranda.

  18. RM says:

    A good result… Still, 3 years and a $20,000 fine is a small price to pay for neglecting and causing the suffering of 50,000 sentient animals, and 10,000 deaths. Humanity has a long way to go.

    1. RM says:

      *40,000+ Deaths, my mistake. Atrocious.

  19. Deborah Mitchell says:

    Awesome win for the animals, but fines/penalties for animal desertion, abuse and neglect need to be much stiffer. The punishments need to more closely fit the crimes. I know no judge is going to throw them in a cell and throw away them key, but that’s what they deserve…….to know exactly how those animals suffered before they died.

  20. Deborah Mitchell says:

    Awesome win for the animals, but fines/penalties for animal desertion, abuse and neglect need to be much stiffer. The punishments need to more closely fit the crimes. I know no judge is going to throw them in a cell and throw away the key, but that’s what they deserve…….to know exactly how those animals suffered before they died.

  21. Ariana says:

    I still have one of these hens rescued from this Turlock hell hole. She will be glad to hear her suffering and the deaths of her sisters has been avenged.

  22. EYG says:

    I bet money these skeezeballs serve absolutely no jail time. Judges are assholes, too.

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