Feds Report Chicken Punched at Case Farms; PETA Seeks Criminal Probe

For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Paint Township, Ohio

PETA has obtained a just-released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report revealing that a worker at the Case Farms slaughterhouse in Paint Township punched a chicken in the breast, so PETA sent a letter today to Holmes County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew J. Muzic calling on him to review the matter and, as appropriate, file a criminal cruelty-to-animals charge against the worker responsible. Under Ohio law, cruelty to animals is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine and the definition of “animal” includes “every living dumb creature.”

According to the report, on December 17, 2021, a USDA inspector saw the employee shackle the live chicken upside down before deliberately striking the immobilized bird in the breast with his fist, which the inspector described as “intentional mistreatment of an animal.”

“Punching an animal is illegal, whether the victim is a chicken or a dog,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation into this worker’s willful and violent act—which was surely not an isolated incident—and urges anyone disturbed by this abuse to think twice before buying chicken flesh.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Muzic follows.

April 12, 2022

The Honorable Matthew J. Muzic
Holmes County Prosecuting Attorney

Dear Mr. Muzic:

I’m writing to request that your office (and a local law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the individual who punched a shackled chicken in the chest at Case Farms, located at 1818 County Rd. 160 in Paint Township. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which the agency just made available to the public. (You can find this information in its original format by clicking here and searching for this slaughterhouse’s establishment number, P15724; scrolling to the date “12/17/2021”; and then scrolling to the right.)

According to the report, on December 17, 2021, a worker responsible for shackling live chickens upside down at the facility “closed his hand into a fist, withdrew his closed hand from the shackled birds and rapidly accelerated his hand towards the birds on the line. The individual deliberately struck a bird in the breast.” According to the FSIS agent, this constituted “intentional mistreatment of an animal.”

This conduct appears to violate R.C. 959.13. Please note that FSIS’ simple report on the matter carries no criminal or civil penalties and doesn’t preempt criminal liability under Ohio law for cruelty to animals. For more details on FSIS’ findings, please contact District Manager Dr. Donald Fickey. Thank you for your time and consideration and for the important work that you do.


Daniel Paden
Vice President of Evidence Analysis
Cruelty Investigations Department

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