Slaughterhouse Rescues Find Sanctuary at California Shelters

May 5th, 2008 7:59 pm by Kelly Garbato

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From: Natalie Bowman
Date: Mon, May 5, 2008 at 4:14 PM
Subject: Slaughterhouse Rescues Find Sanctuary at California Shelters

Hi Kelly,

Farm Sanctuary and Animal Place, a nonprofit sanctuary for farm animals, are now coming to the aid of 14 animals seized from a Watsonville, Calif. slaughterhouse- whose owner is now being charged with cruelty and investigated by the state Department of Agriculture.

I have included a press release below with further details, in case you are interested in posting on the story.

Warm regards,

Natalie Bowman
Communications Manager
Farm Sanctuary
P.O. Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
PH: 607-583-2225 ext. 250
http://www.farmsanctuary.org

P.S. Farm Sanctuary has just offered refuge to six more goats from the slaughterhouse, including two new mothers and their twin kids.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Natalie Bowman, Farm Sanctuary, 607-583-2225 ext. 250, nbowman [at] farmsanctuary.org Marji Beach, Animal Place, 707-449-4814, marji [at] animalplace.org

Animals Confiscated from Slaughterhouse Find Refuge at California Sanctuaries

Farm Sanctuary and Animal Place Shelter Neglected, Sick and Injured Animals from Watsonville Abattoir

Orland, CA and Vacaville, CA – May 5, 2008 – Farm Sanctuary, which operates the largest rescue and refuge network for farm animals in North America, and Animal Place, a nonprofit sanctuary for abused and discarded farmed animals, have responded to a call from Santa Cruz Animal Services and are coming to the aid of 14 neglected animals confiscated from a Watsonville, Calif. slaughterhouse on Thursday, May 1.

The rescued animals-12 goats, one cow and one sheep-were discovered at the Lee Road slaughter facility on Thursday, May 1 by Todd Stosuy of Santa Cruz Animal Services, when he noticed a cow with a bloody horn from the road and initiated an investigation. Stosuy said that in addition to the injured cow, he found 12 very ill, malnourished goats with overgrown, rotted hoofs, as well as several other animals who would have perished if he had not intervened. Upon returning to the facility on Saturday, May 3, Stosuy seized eight more goats and another sheep whose health had deteriorated since his last visit; the sanctuaries and Animal Services are arranging placement of these animals. According to Stosuy, all of the rescued animals were either acquired by the owner at auction or raised on the property and were to be hand-picked by and slaughtered for local customers.

Of the farm animals confiscated by Stosuy, six of the goats will be transported on Tuesday, May 6 to Farm Sanctuary’s 300-acre refuge for farm animals in Orland, Calif.-the home of a pair of cattle, Loretta and Harrison, rescued by Santa Cruz Animal Services from a Watsonville ranch in February. Farm Sanctuary has learned that the custody of the cow is currently in question, but the organization has offered sanctuary for the animal. Six other goats and one sheep found sanctuary last Friday, May 2 at Animal Place in Vacaville. Both shelters will provide the animals with medical and rehabilitative care, and once they are well, will adopt them out to loving permanent homes.

“It is not only sad and frustrating to know these animals endured such neglect, but also alarming that these sick animals were destined for someone’s dinner table,” said Leanne Cronquist, California Shelter manager. “After the rampant abuse the public saw at the Chino slaughterhouse earlier this year – followed by a massive beef recall – as well as the abuse Farm Sanctuary investigators have witnessed at small and large facilities alike, it’s clear that animal cruelty in agriculture is systemic. Fortunately, at Farm Sanctuary, these animals will now get the care they deserve and will never have to face the brutal end that awaited them had they not been saved.”

“No matter the size of the facility, the element of cruelty exists as long as producers and slaughterhouse workers see these animals as commodities and not as sentient beings,” said Marji Beach, education coordinator at Animal Place. “And even when they are treated with a modicum of decency, the end result for most farmed animals is a life cut brutally short at the slaughterhouse. Those rescued are the lucky ones.”

According to Stosuy, the slaughterhouse, which also has a feedlot still holding about 70 animals, is being investigated by the California State Department of Agriculture, whose representatives claimed so far to discover no public health threats on the property despite the sick animals and nonambulatory goat found there. The Santa Cruz County Environmental Health Department will be sending a representative to the facility, as well, according to Stosuy. Cruelty charges against the facility owner have been filed by Animal Services, including a citation for holding a downer (an animal too sick or injured to stand) with no food, water or veterinary care.

Farm animals are specifically excluded from the federal Animal Welfare Act, and few laws exist nationwide to protect farm animals from abuse. In California, voters will have an opportunity to improve the lives of more than 20 million farm animals living in the state by voting “Yes” on the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act in November 2008. If passed, this act would eliminate some of the most intensely restrictive confinement practices in the farm animal industry – veal crates for calves, battery cages for egg-laying hens, and gestation crates for breeding pigs. Farm Sanctuary has co-sponsored this ballot initiative with the Humane Society of the United States, and Animal Place has endorsed it. More information can be found at http://humanecalifornia.org.

Current pending federal legislation would prevent downed animals from going to slaughter (H.R. 661, S. 394) and require the immediate, humane euthanasia of all animals who become nonambulatory. Another piece of pending federal legislation would discourage the abuse of downed animals through stricter penalties for offenders, increasing fines for those who slaughter downed animals, and allowing inspectors to more easily suspend operations at facilities that slaughter downed animals (S. 2770). Farm Sanctuary has worked to end the abuse of downed animals for more than 20 years through its No Downers Campaign. More information can be found at http://nodowners.org.

Farm Sanctuary and Animal Place are currently seeking lifelong compassionate homes for the rescued animals who, after a period of recovery, will be eligible for adoption. Potential guardians who are interested in applying for Farm Sanctuary’s Farm Animal Adoption Network are encouraged to visit http://farmsanctuary.org or call 607-583-2225 for more information. Prospective Animal Place adopters can contact Marji Beach at marji [at] animalplace.org.

Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors
about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at http://www.farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607-583-2225.

Animal Place, founded in 1989, is home to more than 300 cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits and turkeys in Northern California. In addition to providing refuge to neglected farmed animals, Animal Place educates the public about factory farming through tours, cooking classes, tabling, legislation and outreach programs. More information can be found at http://www.animalplace.org or by calling 707-449-4814.

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