- On March 17, 2017
The first case of criminal charges brought for the violation of California’s Proposition 2 (approved as the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act), occurred in early February 2017 in San Bernardino, California. There, District Attorney Michael Ramos brought charges consisting of 39 misdemeanor counts of Prop 2 violations and 16 other state anti-cruelty code violations against Robert Hohberg, proprietor of Hohberg Poultry Ranch, based in Fontana, CA.
The charges were the culmination of a year-long investigation resulting from a complaint filed with the Inland Valley Humane Society. The investigation revealed 28,000 birds locked in confining battery cages that prevented them from fully spreading their wings — a core requirement of Prop 2. Compounding the cruelty was the discovery of decaying hen carcasses in some of the cages along with live birds.
District Attorney Ramos has proven himself a sympathetic ally in regard to enforcement of the law. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Ramos said, “The overcrowded conditions these animals were forced to live in were cruel. It was a horrible existence.” If convicted, Hohberg faces up to 180 days in jail for each cage size violation and a year for each count of animal cruelty.
Wayne Pacelle hailed the landmark development on his blog, A Humane Nation, “Ramos’s announcement of charges today should reverberate throughout the California egg industry. And it’s my hope it causes all farmers in the state to get all of the birds out of cages, which would both meet Prop 2’s standards as well as meet market demands.”
Read more about this case on OrganicAuthority.com.