‘The abuses we found are horrific and this unchecked cruelty must come to an end.’
A new undercover exposé revealed ‘severe animal suffering’ on eight British chicken farms across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, reported The Independent.
All the farms in question are Red Tractor certified and operated by Moy Park – one of Europe’s 10 biggest poultry producers.
Chicken from these farms are supplied to McDonald’s, Tesco and Ocado among other outlets.
The secret filming done by an undercover activist for animal protection organisation Animal Equality captured horrible and ‘distressing footage,’ which included chickens being deprived of water as workers raised the drinking troughs to a height where young chicks were unable to reach. In certain shots workers were seen painfully crushing the ‘unprofitable’ chicks’ necks in their hands.
In addition, some chickens were seen with raw skin burns on their feet and chests from filthy, urine-soaked floors and crammed into immensely overcrowded barns, barely able to move or stretch their wings.
The footage revealed that chickens in such farms are bred to grow so big in an extremely short span of time that they suffer from excruciating leg injuries and are unable to carry the weight of their own oversized bodies and as a result hundred suffer agonizing deaths each day.
The filming took place in two parts in late 2019 and was passed on to Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency, the RSPCA and Red Tractor in early 2020.
View this post on Instagram
‼️ Today we’ve released distressing scenes of animal suffering, filmed by one of our brave undercover investigators, inside eight @RedTractorFood-certified British chicken farms. All eight farms are operated by Moy Park, one of the UK’s biggest chicken producers. Moy Park supplies restaurants and supermarkets such as @McDonaldsUK, @TescoFood and @OcadoUK. Find out how you can help chickens like these by clicking the link in our bio today! . . . #animalequalityuk #animalequality #chickens #chicken #chickenfarms #moypark #mcchickencruelty #tescotruth #mcdonalds #mcnuggets #mcchicken #friendsnotfood #animalprotection #govegan
Abigail Penny, executive director of Animal Equality UK, said: “These poor chickens never stood a chance. Workers killed vulnerable chicks at just a few days old, simply because they were no longer considered profitable.”
Poultry accounts for half the meat eaten in the UK, and Moy Park is known to raise and kill more than 312 million birds each year.
Upon reviewing the footage, the poultry processor said it had implemented measures to ensure standards were adhered to, “including refreshed training manuals, and upgraded face-to-face and online training”.
A Moy Park spokesperson said: “Any breach is completely unacceptable and would result in immediate corrective actions. This particular footage is edited with an agenda in mind, and we are confident that it is not reflective of the high standards and certified practices upheld across our wider farming community.”
“A robust assessment of the farms and a review of the footage by an experienced veterinary surgeon specialising in poultry found that despite the examples highlighted, the overall flocks are displaying natural behaviours and appear in good health in most of the footage,” the spokesperson added.
“The farms featured have also been investigated thoroughly by local authorities and regulators and no major breaches were identified.”
A Red Tractor spokesperson said: “We take animal welfare very seriously. All the farms in the footage were investigated by us and stakeholder partners including their vet, the APHA and trading standards to ensure there was a comprehensive account of farm practices.
“No evidence was found of breaches to legal requirements or Red Tractor standards.”
While Moy Park and Red Tractor denied animal violations, Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality said: “The abuses we found on Moy Park’s farms are horrific and this unchecked cruelty must come to an end.”
Penny added: “Moy Park’s actions are consistently underpinned by profit; this is a company that spends an eye-watering £700,000 on a CEO salary, yet instructs workers to kill vulnerable chicks. Moy Park’s greed is unrelenting.”
She added: “McDonald’s, Tesco, Ocado and others buying from this supplier are refusing to show even the smallest ounce of mercy to these innocent chickens. Consumers appalled by these practices can try vegan and do better by chickens today.”
Animal Equality is also calling on McDonald’s to eliminate some of the worst abuses for the chickens in its supply chain and sign on the Better Chicken Commitment.
You can Sign Animal Equality’s petition to McDonald’s here.
Share this story to reveal the animal abuse rampant in factory farming.
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 14th June 2021
The 45-year-old follows a vegetarian diet and is open to ‘not eating animals’. Chelsea Handler has cited one of the most outlandish reasons for not adopting a complete plant-based diet. According to her ‘vegans fart a lot’, and is a strong enough reason to put her off. The comedian gave her opinion during a WIRED …
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 8th June 2021
Estonia becomes the 14th European nation to ban fur farming following years of campaigning by local animal welfare groups to get the ban done. Estonia has become the first Baltic state to ban fur farming. The Estonian parliament voted on its animal welfare bill and 55 out of 101 members favoured the ban. The news …
All the quizzes you love to binge!
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …