Suffering and misery exposed at farms supplying Morrisons’ “welfare assured chicken” – Totally Vegan Buzz
Suffering and misery exposed at farms supplying Morrisons' "welfare assured chicken''
Image: Nickolas warner/Shutterstock.com

“Morrisons cannot sell them, profit off their deformed, weak bodies, and then claim to take animal welfare seriously.”

An undercover investigation of a major chicken supplier to supermarkets such as Morrisons has exposed the miserable and extremely painful short existence of the birds, the Mirror reported.

Animal rights group Open Cages filmed footage at four farms in Norfolk and Suffolk belonging to producer Cranswick, who rears chickens for its slaughterhouse in Yaxley, near Ipswich, in Suffolk.

Morrisons’ “Butcher’s on Market Street” range, which is marketed as “welfare assured” comes from these farms.

According to campaigners, broiler chickens for the supermarkets are routinely reared in intensive conditions and are ‘doomed from day one’.

The “Franken-chickens” are bred to grow unnaturally fast, which result in them suffering from poor leg health, painful lameness, cardiovascular disease and premature death.

Investigation

Open Cages investigators filmed many birds with deformed legs “frantically flapping their wings before collapsing in pain.”

Rotting carcasses were also found strewn on multiple sites. In one farm, they saw a pile of dead chickens infested with flies.

 In addition, the facilities had chickens covered in filth and chemical burns from lying in their own waste.  Investigators reported that the spaces are so crammed that birds are barely able to move or stretch their wings.

Connor Jackson is the CEO of Open Cages. He said: “Franken-Chickens are doomed from day one” to a life of suffering and misery.”

‘Swift and decisive action’ needed

TV presenter and environmentalist Chris Packham said: “Extreme suffering is rampant in the supermarket’s chicken supply chain”.

The naturalist, who often uses his platform to advocate for animals is backing The Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), a policy that ‘addresses issues related to breeding for fast-growth and high-yield, housing, stocking density, and slaughter’.

Several animal charities including The Humane League UK, Open Cages, Animal Equality UK, and the RSPCA are part of the commitment.

Commenting on Open Cages’ investigation, he told the Mirror: “These poor animals are forced to endure pain, deformities, heart attacks and filthy, overcrowded conditions. It keeps going on and on.

“Morrisons’ marketing is contrived to put us at ease, to generate ideas of quality food, of friendly local farmers and to trust their claims of high welfare standards.

“But the ugly truth of Market Street is undeniable. Yet, Morrisons continues to ignore, deny and delay whilst companies like M&S have taken swift and decisive action.”

Jackson added: “Morrisons cannot sell them, profit off their deformed, weak bodies, and then claim to take animal welfare seriously.”

Packham has also launched an online petition encouraging supermarkets to join the BCC. It has garnered over 1,94,000 signatures. You can sign the petition here.

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