Animal cruelty charges filed against Hohberg's Poultry Ranches in Ontario

Rob McMillan Image
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Animal cruelty charges filed against Ontario chicken farm
Animal cruelty charges were filed against Hohberg's Poultry Ranches in Ontario, officials announced.

ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- A chicken farm in Ontario faces chilling allegations of animal cruelty as prosecutors announced dozens of charges were filed on Tuesday.

Investigators said the chickens at Hohberg's Poultry Ranches were kept in cages so tight that they couldn't turn around.

"I think it's horrendous," San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos said. "They start trying to get out and they start pecking one another. It's just a horrendous situation."

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2, or the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, which, among other things, regulates how tightly chickens can be confined in their cages.

Ramos said the chicken ranch was in clear violation of that law. He filed 39 counts of violating the state's Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act against the owner, identified by officials as 70-year-old Robert Hohberg.

In addition, Ramos filed 16 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.

"Think about it, they even can't get their wingspan, they can't turn around in the cages," Ramos said. "We found dead chickens next to live chickens (along) with the eggs that are going to public consumption. That's dangerous in itself."

ABC7 attempted to reach Hohberg for comment. ABC7 was directed to one of his other farms where they immediately closed the front gate and asked us to leave.

"One of the reasons we filed this case was not only for this individual to make the changes and stop the suffering, but for prevention. For other people, other ranchers, if you're going to do this business, do it right," Ramos said.