A breaking new PETA video exposé of Australia’s largest chicken producer, Baiada, which slaughters approximately 35% of broiler chickens in Australia, found widespread cruelty in its breeding facility and slaughterhouse. Baiada’s slaughterhouse has CCTV, but that didn’t stop the workers from using chickens as punching bags.
Heads Punched and Crushed With Metal Bars
At Baiada’s breeding facility, PETA’s investigator saw many lame, injured, and sick birds.
Because of the stress of overcrowding at the breeding facility, many birds fought each other, sustaining often fatal injuries. Some of these injured birds, like Ringo, were left to suffer and die slowly and in pain.
Others were taken by workers who crushed their heads under metal bars while yanking their legs and leaving them to die an agonizing death.
Chickens Used as Punching Bags
From the breeding facility, surviving chickens were sent to Baiada’s slaughterhouse. There, PETA’s investigator saw workers frequently punching live chickens in the head and bashing them against metal railings before shackling them by their legs. CCTV cameras at the slaughterhouse were operating, which didn’t stop the workers from abusing the frightened animals.
One worker told PETA’s investigator that he would “just start smashing birds.” The investigator saw another worker repeatedly pulling birds’ heads off and once putting a disembodied head on his finger before wiggling it about like a finger puppet.
Chickens’ Throats Slit for McDonald’s and Others
After being run through an electrified water bath to stun them, many chickens were still fully conscious as their throats were slit with a spinning blade. A worker would slit the throats of chickens who were not killed by the blade. They were in agony throughout the cruel ordeal.
Baiada reportedly supplies chicken flesh to McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Woolworths, Coles, and Red Rooster as well as free-range brand Lilydale.
Chickens Deserve Better
Chickens are inquisitive, intelligent animals who, according to animal behaviorist Dr. Chris Evans of Australia’s Macquarie University, “are good at solving problems.” He explains that chickens are able to understand that recently hidden objects still exist, a concept that small children are unable to master. Discussing chickens’ capabilities, he says, “As a trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without mentioning chickens, and people think I’m talking about monkeys.”
In nature, chickens form friendships and social hierarchies, recognize one another and develop a pecking order, love and care for their young, and enjoy dust-bathing, making nests, and roosting in trees. Chickens raised for their flesh are unable to engage in any of these activities.
You Can Help Stop Cruelty to Chickens
During the course of the investigation, Baiada was called and notified that workers were abusing chickens at the slaughterhouse. After the complaint, the investigator neither saw any change in workers’ behavior nor heard from the facility’s management that such abuse was unacceptable.
PETA has submitted its findings of rampant abuse at Baiada’s breeding facility and slaughterhouse to authorities in Australia.
The best thing that you can do for chickens is to stop eating them and spread the word to your friends and family about the animal welfare problems caused by raising chickens for food. Even if the label says “humane meat,” animals are still subjected to cruel industry standards, including severe crowding and a terrifying death.