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The Foul Truth

July 29, 2019

Source The Foul Truth, Animal Justice Project

There are more chickens than any other farmed animal on the planet. Their suffering on intensive farms continues to be widely exposed, yet the free-range broiler industry has been relatively hidden from scrutiny. Until now…

Animal Justice Project spent three months inside free-range and so-called ‘high welfare’ broiler chicken farms. It is a shocking reminder that you can’t trust The RSPCA, Red Tractor, the government, or the supermarkets when it comes to protecting animals.

Abusive treatment of chicks

We filmed day-old chicks being thrown out of crates from four foot in the air and onto the hard floor.

On the same day, the worker walked through the shed, kicking and treading on chicks as she walked. Our cameras documented a baby chick suffering for over eight hours on the floor before finally succumbing to its injuries. Chicks who were found by the worker were killed by having their necks broken on feeder lines.

In one week alone, almost 500 chicks died. Chicks often die within the first few days at farms due to stress, neglect or maltreatment.

Chickens left to suffer

We found lame and injured chickens in the sheds during the investigation – some of whom were left to die over a period of days which indicates negligence by workers, going against Red Tractor standards. One bird we found had been clearly left stuck inside a feeder for some time. Our investigators said that she appeared to have “grown into it”. We filmed birds dehydrated, exhausted, and clearly in a lot of pain. It is standard on chicken farms to kill sick birds – none are afforded medical treatment. Birds on the farms we visited were forgotten amid careless and insufficient “welfare checks” by workers, whilst dead, lame, deformed, injured and dying birds lay on the shed floor. Workers were filmed daily on their phones, sitting down, and urinating on shed floors when they should have been health checking the birds. One lame and clearly sick chicken was left to suffer for at least two days, unable to access food and water, before finally dying.

The RSPCA Assured Guidelines state birds must be given access to natural light as soon as possible and at least within seven days.

During the entire 28 days chickens were inside one farm we visited, no natural light was provided. The RSPCA state that chickens should have natural daylight from at least seven days old. On the converse, periods of 6-12 hours of darkness must also be given yet our cameras revealed that the artificial lighting was kept on for a period of over 52 hours, which also counters Red Tractor standards. This means chickens are not able to adequately rest.

Keeping lights on unnaturally stimulates chickens to eat more food and grow even faster.

Chickens were afforded scattered wooden structures and bales of chopped straw (often left still in their plastic wrapping). Food and water sources were broken or contaminated with sodden litter and ‘enrichment’ was in the form of old plastic bottles hanging on feeder lines, some with ‘cola’ drink still inside.

This is a huge contrast to the picture painted by Red Tractor, The RSPCA and other ‘high welfare’ labels.

Inadequate enrichment means chickens – who are highly sensitive and intelligent animals – become bored, frustrated and unable to carry out natural behaviours. This can lead to an epidemic of feather pecking inside sheds.

The ‘slow growing breeds’ on the farms we documented – in other words chickens that go to slaughter at around nine weeks – are promoted as being ‘high welfare’ by NGOs and the industry alike, but still suffer the same health problems as faster-growing breeds. They experience lameness, heart problems, leg deformities and hock burns.

As birds grow, the sheds become even more crowded. Excrement and burning ammonia levels rise. The increasing concentration of ammonia causes respiratory, skin and hock burns. The litter, which should be kept fresh, quickly became heavily soiled and damp. The inability of birds to find clean, fresh bedding caused them to lay in their own faeces, which causes the health problems mentioned.

During the investigation, one worker carried up to a dozen injured and sick live chickens upside down in his hands by their legs as he walked through the sheds before finally breaking their necks and throwing them still conscious onto the floor. These chickens were not checked afterwards to see if they were still alive which is against RSPCA Assured Guidelines. We filmed birds convulsing on the ground, flapping around in circles. One worker even threw a live but seriously impaired chicken into a bucket of his urine.

High welfare’, free-range and organic chickens are not transported any differently to standard intensively-reared birds. We do not believe our investigation shows anything out-of-the-ordinary with regards to the extreme abuse and cruelty towards chickens being caught for slaughter.

The catching of chickens caught on our cameras was disturbing and abhorrent.

Workers grabbed many birds by their feet before throwing them into crates so hard they were pushed out of the top. Chickens had their heads, legs and wings trapped which would have caused great distress and likely severe injuries. The stress continued as workers kicked, swore at and yelled at the chickens who desperately fought to upright themselves and escape the crowded plastic crates. All in full view of others waiting for their turn. Both RSPCA Assured and Red Tractor guidelines were broken with regards to sound levels being kept to a minimum and just a few workers, 4,750 chickens were caught in one hour – there was nothing “humane” happening at these speeds.

After an agonising ordeal of being thrown into plastic crates, the crates were forklifted out. The uneven shed floor caused crates to knock around, further prolonging the chickens’ stress. Around 45 birds have been crammed into each crate at the farm we filmed at.

After the horrendous and terrifying ordeal, the chickens were transported in a large lorry to Traditional Norfolk Poultry where they will be gassed to death. Transportation is highly stressful for chickens, especially when they have been injured by catching teams like those we filmed at the RSPCA Assured farm.

A brutal and shocking end for ‘high welfare’ chickens.

This is The Foul Truth.

‘Higher welfare’, free-range chickens lead stressful and painful lives. The Foul Truth is an industrialised secret; it is 100% Harm Assured. YOU can help us end this abuse: Broaden your compassion to ALL animals by choosing vegan!

Whether factory-farmed, free-range or organic, we can guarantee it is 100% Harm Assured.

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animals are here WITH us, not for us.
wake up humans because soon there
will be no more us!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

7 Comments leave one →
  1. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    July 29, 2019 8:16 am

    animals are here WITH us, not for us.
    wake up humans because soon there
    will be no more us!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 29, 2019 2:24 pm

      I love it, it is perfect as always, thank you so much, hon. ❤


      • Karen Lyons kalmenson permalink
        July 29, 2019 3:24 pm

        You are so very welcome and thank you 🦜❤️


  2. July 29, 2019 9:42 am

    I keep wondering… how tolerable this situation is with regard to hens (apart from the fact that if male chicks are born they are shredded alive), the farce on the eggs of hens “at liberty” has reached the limits of indecency.
    My daughter has been a vegetarian for a few months now, after viewing of a PETA film. The eldest son is still eating chicken but has completely left the rest of the meat. Both maybe once every two weeks they eat eggs that come from a local farmer at km 0. His chickens live free… even if the cost of this product is high, for ethics I don’t mind spending. Both my children, one day, will decide to leave poultry products too.
    I myself suffered a considerable shock a few weeks ago when I returned to Switzerland from France. I was so sick that I had to stop at the sides of the road in a panic and to vomit.
    These are the photos I took … unfortunately, nothing can be done and the abomination will continue. I cannot view such videos… I just cannot.

    Hugs :-)c

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 29, 2019 2:23 pm

      People know that what they are doing is wrong and cruel to other innocent beings, they just don’t care. Animals are objectified, people don’t consider them as deserving of respect and life, they view them as commodities, here for people, for fun, for profit, for use. What happens to animals is generally and widely accepted, even sanctioned by the mass population and blessed by the status quo, so people don’t fear that what they are doing is wrong.

      Rather than always consider how people will react to what they are doing, they need to consider how the animals – the real victims – react and feel, how THEY would feel if in the same situation.

      Horrific pictures, but all too common, accepted, and really, sadly, even appreciated. Most people just see their next meal, not a sentient being, deserving of compassion, life, and respect. I’m so sorry you witnessed that, but so very glad that it bothers you – that makes you kind and caring and humane, and demonstrates that you consider SAVING more important than TAKING.

      Your kiddos are doing great, they are on the right path, kudos to them, and to you for raising them. 🙂

      Hugs to you, my dearest and beautiful Claudine. ❤


  3. July 30, 2019 3:28 am

    There is no humane way to eat meat😢 Thank you for all the work you do raising consciousness Stacey💕🐾

    Liked by 1 person

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