Four teens were arrested for killing chickens at a California Foster Farms’ facility. On September 20, the teens reportedly broke into a barn and proceeded to slaughter 920 birds with a golf club. Foster Farms is calling the attack an “unconscionable act of animal cruelty.”
A representative with the Fresno County Police Department said the suspects were identified through anonymous tips and social media. Gabriel Quintero, 18, two 17-year-olds, and a 15-year-old, were arrested and charged with killing the chickens.
As reported by NBC News, all four teens were charged with burglary and felony animal cruelty. Quintero is currently being held at the county jail. The younger boys were booked into the Fresno Juvenile Justice Center.
Authorities said they collected several pieces of evidence, including the golf club used to kill the chickens. Other evidence was recovered from the teens’ residences.
Foster Farms is well-known for their humane treatment of animals. In addition to adopting their own rules, the poultry company has maintained certification with the American Humane Association. As discussed on The Foster Farms website, certification is strict and lengthy process.
“Certification doesn’t happen in a day. The audit is comprehensive, covering 200 separate items including diet, living conditions and natural behaviors. To achieve certification, Foster Farms verified that humane conditions are maintained on our farms and ranches 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
The company’s formula for humane treatment includes keeping the chickens free from cages, discomfort, distress, fear, hunger, injury, pain, and thirst. Foster Farms also challenges consumers to sign The Humane Pledge.
The pledge challenges consumers to purchase products and support products from companies that are dedicated to the humane treatment of all animals.
Following the assault, Foster Farms and the Animal Defense League offered a reward for any information leading to an arrest.
The four teens were arrested for killing the chickens on Wednesday. It is unknown whether the suspects have secured legal representation. However, as they are charged with felonies, the teens could be sentenced to prison and fined up to $20,000 each.
They would also be responsible for damage to the facility and loss of the birds. A Foster Farms representative said the 920 chickens were worth close to $5,000.
Although the teens were arrested for killing the chickens, authorities are still trying to determine what prompted them to commit the heinous crime.
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