"No responsible facility could allow such blatant animal cruelty and neglect," California-based veterinarian Dr. Armaiti May said in a statement. "Birds experience pain and suffering in a very similar way to humans and other mammals. The treatment of the ducks at this facility is completely unacceptable."
After the video was shown to local law enforcement, officials visited the farm to investigate. Now, animal control officers are expected to complete reports on their finding. Mercy for Animals is urging officials to hold the owners of Reichardt Duck Farm criminally accountable for animal cruelty - though poultry animals are usually exempted from this type of federal protection (some states have begun to include farm animal under animal protection laws). One alleged violation that could lead to legal action is the lack of access to water for the ducks, which is legally required in California.
While disturbing investigations like this one continue to happen, there are ways to report animal abuse at factory farms. Just this week, The Humane Society of the United States launched a new hotline for farm animal cruelty. The organization is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who have committed acts of cruelty to farm animals. The hotline number is 1-888-209-7177.