Animal rights organization Mercy For Animals revealed despicable cruelty at Reichardt duck farm in Sonoma County, California, one of the largest in the United States with over 200,000 birds.
The undercover investigation exposed “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,” MFA said in a statement.
MFA filed a complaint against the farm with local authorities and provided all the information gathered throughout the one-month undercover investigation. “The evidence demonstrated an ongoing pattern of cruelty, neglect, and needless suffering,” MFA wrote on their website.
MFA continued to explain that ducks in factory farms are forced to live in cages without any access to water. Being waterfowl, the lack of water for swimming and bathing leaves them with deformed legs and injuries on their feet, which are not meant to stand for long periods of time.
“Without access to water, ducks become stressed and start to exhibit abnormal behaviours, such as head shaking and excessive feather preening.
“Unable to properly clean themselves, factory-farmed ducks often develop infections and painful eye diseases that can lead to blindness.
“Sadly, the first and only pool of water factory-farmed ducks will see is the electrified bath as they are hanging upside down about to have their throats cut open at the slaughterhouse.”
“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.”
The investigation led to authorities raiding the Petaluma farm on Wednesday morning. The farm was searched by two deputies, a patrol sergeant, a watch commander, a crime scene investigator, a Sonoma County Animal Care and Control officer, two veterinarians and a waterfowl expert, reported CBS Local San Francisco.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha “there was nothing that shocked anyone or caused an arrest or citation. We’ve never had a complaint there.”
The case is still ongoing.