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From  Issue
15 September 2002
No Criminal Charges In Chicken Starvation Case

From Farmed Animal Watch

James Biggers, CEO of Cypress Foods, will not face prosecution for the two hundred thousand chickens who died last March at the company's Florida operation. More than 1 million birds in Florida and Georgia starved or were killed after the company went bankrupt. In Florida, an estimated 30,000 chickens starved after going 10-15 days without food. Another 170,000 were gassed and buried. Animal rights activists "stormed" the facility and removed hundreds of birds before being stopped from doing so. Biggers faced cruelty charges with a possible sentence of 5 years in prison.

On September 11th, the State Attorney's office announced there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, noting that the company fell on hard times after the price of eggs dropped. Gene Bauston of Farm Sanctuary countered that Biggers made decisions that caused the birds' deaths, explaining: "They were [Biggers'] birds; they were his responsibility." An attorney with the Humane Society of the United States plans to push for legislation requiring large farms to post bonds that could be tapped to pay for feed when facilities go out of business.

"Farm owner won't be charged in deaths of chickens," St. Petersburg Times, Chas Squires, September 11, 2002.
"Chicken Farm Owner Won't Be Prosecuted in Starvation Episode," Tampa Bay Online, Andy Reid, September 12, 2002.

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