Thousands of chickens died at a farm supplying Tesco and Sainsbury’s after a heat wave hit the United Kingdom.
As temperatures soared to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, chickens crowded in sheds at a Moy Park farm suffered and died. Last Friday, a reporter witnessed farm staff piling the birds’ lifeless bodies outside the sheds.
Moy Park is endorsed by Assured Food Standard, an organization that promotes and regulates food quality in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. The organization’s Red Tractor mark is meant to assure consumers that food is “responsibly produced” and “farmed with care.” But the suffering of these chickens at a Moy Park facility suggests otherwise.
This tragic event comes on the heels of a recent investigation by Animal Equality UK into three Moy Park chicken farms in Lincolnshire, England. The investigators visited the farms multiple times between February and April 2019, documenting appalling conditions in huge double-decker sheds with over 30,000 birds crowded on each floor.
Investigators observed chicks struggling to breathe and birds with leg injuries so severe that they were unable to stand. Dead chickens were left for days to rot beside live ones. Dr. Toni Vernelli, executive director of Animal Equality UK, stated:
As our appetite for chicken meat has grown, so has the size of Britain’s chicken farms. Images of distressed birds in giant double-decker sheds will be a shock to many consumers who buy British, Red Tractor-certified meat thinking they can trust its animal welfare standards. Yet the truth is, the unnatural conditions chickens are forced to endure in these vast sheds are utterly dismal.
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