Man Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty in Chicken House


By Linda Cicoira
A man associated with Atlantic Farm LLC, which has nine chicken houses near Wallops Island, pleaded guilty in Accomack Circuit Court last week to two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty in connection with incidents captured on video by a Washington, D.C., animal welfare group last year.
The graphic video, filmed by a hid-den camera, showed chicks being hit with pipes and young larger chickens being left in buckets to die with birds that had already succumbed, some de-formed from rapid-growth hormones, according to the group Compassion Over Killing, which released the video in early December 2017.
Talib Cheema, 56, pleaded guilty to two charges that he “did torture, ill treat, or willfully inflict inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation, on an animal belonging to himself or another.” The incidents occurred Nov. 7, 2017.
The farm had been sold by Steve and Fred Darby to the limited liability company several years ago.
Cheema, who has addresses of Hope-ton Road near Parksley and in Brooklyn, N.Y., is one of three men associated with the farm as he uses the same mailing address on Bethel Church Road in Mears.
The other two who are associated with the farm are Mohammad Iqbal of Worcester County, Md., and Ali Tazwan, who also owns Shore Livestock LLC. They were not charged with the crimes. Cheema was arrested on Aug. 29, 2018. The case was continued until next year.

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