Extreme Suffering inflicted on Chickens
Two companies in British Columbia involved in the raising, transporting and killing of chickens have been fined $300,000 for inhumane treatment of the birds.
The charges against the companies were a direct result of an undercover investigation carried out by advocacy organization Mercy for Animals.
Elite Farms Service Ltd. and Sofina Foods Inc. were charged with cruelty to animals after a 2017 undercover investigation that documented workers: “throwing, swinging, stepping on, tormenting, striking, kicking and dropping birds; bowling with birds; causing birds to be pinched in a loading module; loading birds in an aggressive manner; unnecessary handling of birds; and killing of birds,” according to a report in the Prince George Citizen.
This investigation involved a Mercy for Animals advocate obtaining employment with a chicken-catching company to document how chickens were treated. The investigation revealed workers brutalizing chickens, including reportedly kicking and even tearing the limbs off of birds. This sadistic brutality took place within an industry that repeatedly claims to ‘care about animal welfare.’
It’s important to note that these charges did not come as a result of governmental oversight or reports made by industry workers themselves.
The exposure of this extreme cruelty came about due to an undercover investigation by an animal advocacy organization – exactly the kind of investigation that is now illegal in Ontario since the passage of the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act (Bill 156).
We need to be clear that ‘there is no such thing as humane meat’ nor humane dairy, eggs, fur, wool or down. In animal agriculture, the sole purpose of an animal is to be brought into existence to be killed to provide profit. It’s contrary to the profit motive to provide a comfortable life for the animals, as doing so chips away at profits. And there is no way to make a slaughterhouse death humane, though some slaughter methods are worse than others. Keeping animals for the sole purpose of killing them to make money from their dead bodies can breed contempt for the victims, as we have seen demonstrated in numerous investigations.
For anyone who abhors cruelty and who cares about a society built on non-violence, we urge you to remove animal products from your lives and off your plates. Give thought to those chickens and what they endured. Think too of the fact that no governmental agency oversaw the treatment of those birds. It took the efforts of an animal advocacy group using donor funds to document the suffering inflicted on these helpless animals.
We cannot, we must not, trust government to enforce even the minimal laws that govern the various businesses that make up animal agriculture. And we surely must not ever trust the businesses themselves that have demonstrated repeatedly they will protect their own profits over even a minimal level of decency in the treatment of animals.
Animal Alliance of Canada is right now working on a legal challenge to the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act (Bill 156). Several months ago we hired a constitutional lawyer to develop our legal challenge, and we cannot think of a better way to use donor funds than to engage in such a challenge. Our lawyer is confident that there are elements of the act that are vulnerable to legal challenge under our Constitution.
We are still developing our strategy on how best to proceed with the challenge and will let you know when these decisions are made.
The sickening brutality inflicted on chickens in BC, crimes that were exposed only because of an undercover investigation, makes two things clear:
- animal agriculture is cruel by its very nature, and often contributes to the development of abusive treatment of vulnerable beings;
- the best way to ensure we don’t contribute financially to animal cruelty is to avoid buying animal-based products.
Please consider donating today. Your donation will help to pay for the constitutional challenge we are mounting. I know that your heart aches as does mine, for the animals like these chickens suffering so greatly in animal agriculture.
Donate at: https://www.animalalliance.ca/donate/
By Vicki Van Linden | Director
December 21, 2021