Foster Farms Investigating “Inappropriate” Behavior At Poultry Facilities Captured In Undercover Video

Image courtesy of Blurriness of screenshot from video is intentional to spare unsuspecting viewers.

Blurriness of screenshot from video is intentional to spare unsuspecting viewers.

Blurriness of screenshot from video is intentional to spare unsuspecting viewers.

Poultry producer Foster Farms says it’s investigating after an animal advocacy group filmed undercover video at one of its slaughterhouses in Fresno and nearby farms owned by the company. Police are also investigating allegations of mistreatment, after receiving a complaint from the group Mercy for Animals.

In the footage the group says was shot between April and June, chickens are seen being slammed upside down into metal shackles, getting punched and having their feathers pulled out while they’re still alive, reports the Associated Press.

(Warning: The video is pretty graphic, but here’s a link to the footage.)

Other footage shows workers throwing bins of live chicks on the ground, apparently rendering some immobile in the process. Mercy for Animals says another set of footage shows bodies of chickens that were boiled alive after an automatic knife failed to slit their necks at the Fresno slaughterhouse.

A Foster Farms spokesman said in a statement that the company has launched its own investigation and will fully cooperate with authorities. He says employees get annual training on how to humanely handle the birds, and those that violate the company’s standards are subject to discipline, including firing.

“The behavior of the individuals in this video is inappropriate and counter to our stringent animal welfare standards, procedures and policies,” he said. “We believe raising chickens humanely is simply the right thing to do, and we take our commitment to humane values very seriously.”

“What’s on this video does not reflect the company’s culture and policies,” the spokesman says.

In the video’s description, Mercy for Animals calls out the “American Humane Certified” label on chicken packaging, asking what it really means. “The answer: surprising little.”

A spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based American Humane Association, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the group has stringent standards and is “dedicated to the humane treatment of all animals.”

Foster Farms Investigates ‘Inappropriate’ Behavior After Undercover Video [Associated Press]

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