SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office raided Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma — one of the largest duck factory farms in the country — based on hidden-camera video evidence of animals left to suffer from severe injuries and illness without food, water, or proper veterinary care. The shocking investigation by Mercy For Animals reveals countless ducks with bleeding wounds stuck in cage wire or trapped in manure pits, baby ducklings having their sensitive bills burned with hot metal, ducks having their necks violently broken or throats cut, and birds being thrown, dropped, and callously carried by their heads and wings.
Following the undercover investigation, MFA immediately alerted law enforcement authorities to numerous violations of California's anti-cruelty laws and presented them with a detailed legal complaint and meticulously compiled evidence of the violations. MFA praises the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office for taking decisive action in pursuing justice for these abused and exploited animals.
California-based veterinarian and animal welfare expert Dr. Armaiti May reviewed the graphic undercover video footage and provided her expert opinion to law enforcement: "I was very alarmed to witness severe neglect and cruelty inflicted on ducks at this facility. No responsible facility could allow such blatant animal cruelty and neglect. Birds experience pain and suffering in a very similar way to humans and other mammals. Their suffering must be taken seriously. The treatment of the ducks at this facility is completely unacceptable."
At Reichardt Duck Farm, ducks are forced to spend their entire lives on barren, wire mesh flooring, causing them to develop crippling leg deformities and other serious injuries. Without access to water for swimming or bathing, ducks become stressed and start to exhibit abnormal behaviors, such as head shaking and excessive feather preening. Unable to properly clean themselves, factory-farmed ducks often develop serious infections and diseases. When they reach market weight, ducks at this factory farm are violently shackled upside down and run through an electrified vat of water before having their throats cut open.
"From the day they hatch until they are violently killed at the slaughterhouse, the short lives of these ducks are filled with misery and deprivation," said MFA's executive director, Nathan Runkle. "We are calling on the District Attorney to hold the owners of Reichardt Duck Farm criminally accountable for allowing this culture of cruelty and neglect to fester at its factory farm facility."
To view the undercover video, visit www.MercyForAnimals.org/Ducks.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals