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Prison for Man who let 3,000 Hens Starve to Death

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A man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for starving 3,000 hens to death.

The judgement was handed down by the courts in Palencia, a Spanish municipality of the autonomous community of Castilla y León, after the man was charged with the “Absolute – and voluntary – abandonment of the duties of care and feeding” of the animals.

The hens, which were housed in three industrial units, had finished their productive cycle and had tested positive for salmonella.

In order to avoid the costs of having the birds killed in a slaughterhouse, he voluntarily decided to stop feeding them.

Their suffering lasted for about a month until they finally died of starvation.

Officers from Seprona, the environmental branch of the Guardia Civil, observed the corpses of chickens scattered in the corridors, in plastic containers, broken eggs scattered on the ground, and even some live chickens in a pit with manure. Live birds were also observed, wandering around the industrial units, without access to food, but were seen to be eating rodenticide that was scattered on the ground.

The defendant insisted that he was only an employee, without any responsibility in the death of the birds. The judge dismisses his arguments, and even absolves the owner of the farm, who was also accused.

The court was in no doubt that it was the defendant who made the decision and was responsible for the death of the birds, as the owner of the farm was seldom present. The man was therefore sentenced to prison for crimes of animal abuse.

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