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Exposed: Birds Punched, Beaten at Australia's Largest Chicken Producer

A PETA exposé of Australia’s largest chicken producer, Baiada, which slaughters approximately 35% of chickens raised for meat in Australia, found widespread cruelty in its breeding facility and slaughterhouse. Baiada’s slaughterhouse has closed-circuit TV cameras, but that didn’t prevent the workers from using chickens as punching bags.

Necks Crushed With Metal Bars

At Baiada’s breeding facility, the eyewitness saw many lame, injured, and sick birds.

Because of the stress of severe crowding at the breeding facility, many birds fought with each other, often sustaining fatal injuries. Some of these injured birds—such as Ringo (pictured below)—were left to suffer and die slowly and in pain.

Others were grabbed by workers who crushed their necks under metal bars while yanking their legs and then left them to die in agony.

Chickens Used as Punching Bags

Chickens who survived this treatment at the breeding facility were sent to Baiada’s slaughterhouse. There, the eyewitness saw workers frequently punching live chickens in the head and bashing them against metal railings before shackling them by the legs. Even though closed-circuit TV cameras at the slaughterhouse were operating, that didn’t prevent the workers from abusing the frightened animals.

One worker told the eyewitness that he would “just start smashing birds.” The eyewitness saw another worker repeatedly tearing birds’ heads off—and even putting a severed head on his finger and wiggling it like a finger puppet.

Chickens' Throats Slit for McDonald's and Others

Even though they were run through an electrified water bath intended to stun them, many chickens were still fully conscious when their throats were slit with a spinning blade. A worker then manually slit the throats of those who hadn’t been killed by the blade.

Baiada reportedly supplies chicken flesh to McDonald’s and has also supplied Pizza Hut.

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 they’re able to understand that recently hidden objects still exist, a concept that small human children are unable to understand. 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 taking dust baths, 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

Findings of rampant abuse at Baiada’s breeding facility and slaughterhouse have been submitted to authorities in Australia.

PETA has uncovered similar rampant abuse of animals for their flesh, eggs, and milk in the United States.

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 it says “humane meat” on the label, animals are still subjected to cruel industry standards, including severe crowding and a terrifying death.

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