New York City is a dumping ground for diseased poultry, Walter L. Rice, special assistant to the Attorney General, told a jury yesterday at the opening of criminal proceedings brought by the United States against the A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corporation of 858 Fifty-second street and the Schechter Live Poultry Market Inc. of 991 Rockaway avenue, both of Brooklyn.
The two corporations and their owners, Joseph, Martin, Alex and Aaron Schechter, are accused of conspiracy to violate the live poultry code and of forty separate offenses against the code. The case is the first criminal action to be brought against any corporation or individual since the code was accepted by the live poultry industry.
Prosecutor Rice also charged yesterday that two per cent. of the poultry sold in New York is unfit for human consumption.
BUSINESS DROPS OFF
The prosecutor further disclosed that the industry, which in normal times averaged a gross turn-over of $75,000,000, has shrunk now to $30,000,000. This shrinkage Rice attributed to evil practices within the industry.
To refute possible charges that the government had forced the code on the industry, Rice declared the code had been requested by its members. With regard to enforcement of the code he said, “There has been no element of bias or prejudice in the code.”