REEDLEY – During a building inspection in March, Reedley’s code enforcement department discovered a horde white mice, many of which were deceased due to being abandoned with no food or water.
Code enforcement officer Joycelyn Harper said the city was responding to possible building code violations at 850 I Street. Along with a mass of unaccounted-for mice, the city found hazardous electrical conditions, water damage and other unsafe conditions in the building.
As a result of its conditions, the building was closed. The city posted “Unsafe to Occupy” signs at multiple locations on the property and issued an abatement order because of the code violations.
Zieba said that after the mice were discovered, the city contacted the Fresno County Department of Health. Reedley ceded jurisdiction for all health-related matters to the county. The department conducted its own investigation and, on the recommendation of a veterinarian, the remaining mice were euthanized.
On May 31, the Fresno County Department of Health issued an Ordered Closure and Abatement order for the property. The order closed the business and made specific demands from the business owner regarding biologicals (i.e., mice). The owner had until June 7 to comply with the demands of the order incur penalties, including fines of up to $1,000 per day. The department did not respond to questions regarding this story except to say it is an ongoing investigation.
On June 9, the department issued a second Ordered Closure and Abatement order. The second order gave the business owner until June 11 to comply with the department’s demands. It is not known if the business owner complied.
Alliance has since gone out of business. The Mid Valley Times discovered that Prestige Biotech Inc. of Fresno was responsible for setting up an unlicensed laboratory and for bringing the mice to the premises of 850 I Street. AY-NC LP of Oakland is the registered owner of the property.
According to state records, a second business, Auyeung Market Street, LLC, shares the same Oakland address as AY-NC LP. The owners provided the Times a copy of the lease signed on December 8, 2022 between AY-NC LP and Prestige. Efforts to reach Prestige have been unsuccessful; however, Edmund Ay-Yeung, the son of the owners of AY-NC LP, said Prestige operates laboratories, perhaps conducting research.
“[Prestige] set up a lab in Fresno, but they went out of business,” said Ay-Yeung, whose parents own the property. “That’s why they went there [Reedley].”
At this time, it is not clear what the mice were used for or who was acquiring them from Prestige. Nor is it clear if Alliance or its employees were aware of the presence of the mice or the unlicensed laboratory. According to Zieba, Reedley has had an active business license with Alliance since 2003.