SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) — As the Easter holiday approaches, officials have a warning about selling cute, baby chicks.
Suffolk County officials are charging three businesses with misdemeanors for allegedly selling day-old chicks.
New York prohibits the sale of any chicks younger than two months old and in any quantity less than six.
“Each spring around Easter time, people purchase newly born baby animals, including chicks, ducklings and rabbits, to use as live decorations or to give as gifts,” said District Attorney Raymond Tierney. “Sometimes, these animals are also dyed bright colors which can cause illness and death to the animal.”
For the past several weeks, members of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Suffolk County Police Department’s District Attorney Squad investigated businesses that were illegally selling baby chicks.
Police said they purchased four chicks that were only a few days old at Long Island Poultry in Calverton on March 3.
They said they purchased three chicks that were days old at Raleigh Poultry Farm in Kings Park on March 23.
And authorities said they purchased two chicks at Agway of Port Jefferson on April 3. And minutes later another detective purchased four additional chicks.
“The only animal that belongs in an Easter basket is a stuffed animal or one made of chocolate,” said John Di Leonardo, anthrozoologist and Executive Director of Humane Long Island. “Ducks, chicks, and bunnies require daily care, safe housing, specialized veterinary care, and a 10-year commitment. Yet when they’re sold individually to impulsive customers, they first end up in Easter baskets, and next, abandoned in local parks where they’re unable to survive. Without a flock, they often die from lack of warmth or become imprinted on humans, permanently compromising their welfare.”
Anyone with information on the illegal sale of dying or baby animals is asked to contact the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office at [email protected].
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