ONTARIO – The inhumane and deplorable conditions found at an Ontario egg ranch led to numerous charges being filed against them. Hohberg’s Poultry Ranches were charged with 39 counts of violating the state’s Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. Proposition 2 passed in 2008 with 63.5 percent support, requiring that egg-laying hens are left with enough space to fully spread her wings without touching another animal or the side of the enclosure.
Hohberg’s Poultry Ranches were also charged with 16 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty for a report made on January 2016 to the Inland Valley Humane Society. The report stated that the chickens at the location were kept in “inhumane” and “deplorable” conditions. The investigation led to a search warrant served on the Hohberg’s Poultry Ranches on February 20, 2016. The search led to verification of the reported conditions including overcrowded cages.
“Upon serving the search warrant, we found approximately 28,800 hens in unsanitary conditions that clearly violated the Farm Animal Cruelty Act,” said Ploghaus. “In some instances, we found dead hens decaying in the same cages beside living hens laying eggs for human consumption.”
The 70-year-old owner, Robert Hohberg, is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, where he will face a maximum of 6 months in jail for each of the 39 cage size violations and one year for each of the 16 animal cruelty counts.
“While we are obviously concerned about the health of our citizens, at the end of the day, we also have a lawful obligation to ensure that animals in our county are being treated humanely,” said District Attorney Mike Ramos. “The overcrowded conditions these animals were forced to live in were cruel. It was a horrible existence.”
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