FARMERSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hundreds of additional animals from the Donald and Bonnie George farm have been seized, leading local law enforcement officials to file an additional six charges on each farmer, mounting to a total of 36 charges against the husband and wife.
Officials say they’re disappointed in the overall conditions for the animals at the farm, represented by the total seizure of over 400 animals from the 600-animal farm, which has been under the care of Cattaraugus County SPCA experts, volunteers and the Amish community.
In a move to show the seriousness of the situation, SPCA officials released records from court appearances that have detailed accounts from veterinarians who spent countless hours assessing the condition of hundreds of animals.
Following the seizure of 250 ducks, 35 turkeys, 82 chickens, 13 pigeons, 14 quail, 14 geese, 38 guinea fowl and five partridges, SPCA officials detailed real concern over public health and safety.
“The careless ambient poor sanitation and apparent intentional feeding of inappropriate and unsafe food items (meat carcasses and mayonnaise) to ducks and chickens sold for food consumption poses a significant public health risk,” SPCA officials said in a testimony. “The poor conditions for egg lay/sanitation also are a health risk for the sale of eggs for human consumption.”
In court, the SPCA cited evidence detailing the concern over piles of bones found across the farm, trash near food sources, rusted metal pieces that could be consumed by animals, lack of proper and clean housing and feces-infested water sources.
Officials continued, saying the Georges had a historic lack of food items for their horses and other animals, and an “extreme lack of historic routine cleaning of fecal material.”
The feces-infested conditions caused severe health issues for animals on the farm, leading to infections in the feet of every single horse evaluated.
“Overall the horses feet were in a condition that are only the result of severe neglect to the normal care and maintenance they require,” SPCA officials said.
The George family appeared in court on Tuesday, pleading not guilty to the 36 charges in their first appearance.