Shocking welfare incidents uncovered in US chicken production

An investigation by the Guardian newspaper and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism looking at inspection logs of US slaughterhouses has found hundreds of shocking welfare incidents. 

Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/stephenliveshere

Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/stephenliveshere

The information had to be obtained by a Freedom of Information request and showed what US campaigners called ‘inexcusable’ violations, such as chickens freezing to death, being boiled alive, drowning or suffocating under piles of other birds.

The report will, once again, raise concerns that the UK may be forced to accept low standard, low welfare chicken as part of a future, post-Brexit trade deal with the United States.

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of Sustain, said: “This is a truly shocking picture of chicken mass-production in the US, and a timely reminder of what is at stake from a 'no deal' Brexit. If we fail to secure an agreement with the EU, we will be under pressure to abandon our high food standards and accept badly treated chicken from elsewhere. Low welfare chicken production is also often associated with poor hygiene and irresponsible antibiotic use."

"The Agriculture Bill currently before parliament must be amended to include clauses that require imported food to meet Britain's higher standards of production. Otherwise, our farmers will be forced to compete on price with these shocking welfare standards - a damaging race to the bottom.”

 


17/12/2018
Food and Farming Policy

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