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ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (AP) — A farm worker in North Carolina is facing felony animal cruelty charges for "maliciously" killing four chickens, authorities said.
The Daily Journal of Richmond County reports (http://bit.ly/1XZEig0) that officials say 22-year-old Danny Cajija Miranda killed two chickens by grinding his heel on their heads and whipping one round by its neck. According to warrants, he killed a third chicken by hitting it in the head with a hammer and a fourth by throwing it against a wall.
Miranda works for Deese Farms, a farm that grows chickens for Maryland-based Perdue Farms.
"I'm in the dark right now," owner Tommy Deese said. "I don't know what's going on."
Los Angeles-based Mercy for Animals filed a report with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. An investigation began.
Mercy for Animals also posted a video to its YouTube channel which appeared to show chickens being stomped and another one being thrown against a wall. Other chickens shown appeared to have health problems.
"Unfortunately, the actions shown on the video go beyond the farm worker and includes inappropriate handling by contract catching crews and birds with leg and other health problems that should have been humanely euthanized much earlier," Perdue spokeswoman Julie DeYoung told the Daily Journal in an email. "Mistreatment or abuse of animals is never tolerated. Our independent contract growers share equal responsibility to provide care according to our best practices and standards."
DeYoung said the Perdue contract with Deese Farms has been suspended while Perdue investigates the incident.
Miranda is being held on a $10,000 bond. It's not known whether he has an attorney to contact for comment on the case.
Information from: Richmond County Daily Journal, http://yourdailyjournal.com
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