Santa Cruz District Attorney Refuses to Prosecute Animal Cruelty

Last year an animal advocacy group based out of D.C., Compassion Over Killing, performed an undercover investigation of Cal-Cruz Hatchery, Inc., in Santa Cruz, California.  The three-week assignment documented hatchery workers abusing chicks and ducklings. 

Abuse included:

  • Newly hatched birds being tossed across the room into buckets and left to languish in pain for hours. 
  • Discarding live hatchlings down a disposal with a high powered water hose.
  • Birds tangled in machinery and left to suffer with injuries like amputeed limbs. 
  • Animals being skinned alive. 
  • Decapitated chicks stuck in machinery. 
  • The standard gender-biased practice of discarding all male hatchlings.


Sign the
Care2 petition demanding justice for these abused chicks!

Compassion Over Killing turned the evidence over to the Santa Cruz District Attorney’s office and Santa Cruz County Animal Service Authority.  SCASA performed a further investigation, which resulted in the impounding and rescuing of 88 ducklings.  The rescued ducklings were sent to a sanctuary, but only 38 survived. 

On the Farm Sanctuary (where the rescued ducklings were sent) website, Leanne Conquist, a California Shelter Director, states:

“If kittens or puppies were treated this way, animal cruelty charges would have been brought in this case a long time ago, I find it appalling that even though California’s state animal cruelty laws do not distinguish between companion animals and farm animals, that the Santa Cruz District Attorney appears to be taking exception in this case based on what the Cal-Cruz Hatchery owner claims is ‘standard’ practice. If this is the industry’s standard practice, then abuse is rampant across this industry, and law enforcement should investigate further.”

Santa Cruz District Attorney’s office has declined to prosecute the case.  This begs the question: why?

Watch the video and you decide. I’ll warn you, the footage is disturbing and not for the faint of heart.

If this seems like cruelty to you, please sign the petition and ask Santa Cruz District Attorney to reconsider prosecuting this case.  Call 831-454-2400 or email dao@co.santa-cruz.ca.us or go the the Santa Cruz city website and send a communication.

For more info:  Ground Up Alive: Baby Chicks Suffer

Here are more photos of Cal-Cruz duckling survivors.

Photo of rescued ducklings used with permission of Compassion Over Killing

311 comments

Pat L.
Pat L.4 years ago

Oh, I made a call, all right, but it is not printable here.

Ken K.
Ken K.4 years ago

TINA

Remember animals don't vote or contibute to evil, vile, money hungry politicians.

These poor hatchlings have no voice, excepct to scream out in pain.....

DISGUSTING GUTLESS BASTARD

Ken K.
Ken K.4 years ago

TINA

Remember animals don't vote or contibute to evil, vile, money hungry politicians.

These poor hatchlings have no voice, excepct to scream out in pain.....

DISGUSTING GUTLESS BASTARD

KAROLY M.
KAROLY MOLINARI5 years ago

Oh God people who do that horrific , cruel thing should die the same way

Tina D.
Tina D.5 years ago

I guess the DA has no balls!

Tina D.
Tina D.5 years ago

What the hell is wrong with the people who work there?
I would rather not have a job.
How would you go home and show love for your family after abusing animals all day long. WOW!

Holly C.
Holly c.5 years ago

I am speechless. This people are maggots! I guess that DA is a pathetic loser with no guts to go after these people!

Debbie W.
Past Member 5 years ago

ALL LIVING THINGS DESERVE HUMANE TREATMENT. Of the 88 ducklings confiscated, with half later being euthanized, and the additional video documentation of cruelty, the word KICKBACK comes quickly to mind.

Max M.
Max M.5 years ago

I'm amazed after signing the petition last October, that as of yet, nothing has happened. So the real question is this; Why is the DA not prosecuting? What deep, dark secret could possibly stop someone from doing their job after being supplied with such clear evidence? One can only wonder.

Keven H.
Keven Hearn5 years ago

I assume that DA stands for "Deferred Action"? Perhaps the poor chap is blind as well as unfeeling...........