Chickens ‘kicked and abused on farms supplying Nando’s, Asda and Lidl’

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Chickens 'kicked and abused on farms supplying Nando's, Asda and Lidl'



HARROWING footage shows chickens on farms supplying Nando’s, Asda and Lidl being kicked and killed in squalid conditions.
Some of the birds collapsed under the weight of their unnaturally large bodies and were left unable to stand.
A worker was filmed kicking one of the chickens
The chickens are forced to live in squalid conditions
Some of the chickens are unable to stand
Others were kicked, stamped on and had their necks snapped by workers on three farms in Northamptonshire.
The farms are certified by Red Tractor, which claims that “animal health and welfare is at the heart” of its standards.
However, dead birds were left to rot around other chickens that started eating them as they lay on the ground.
In footage released by charity Animal Equality, some of the animals could be seen struggling aged just seven days old.SNAPPING NECKS
Disturbing images show workers ruthlessly snapping their necks and leaving them to die.
The charity said their accelerated growth causes joint and heart problems as their under-developed bodies try and keep up.
The footage was filmed at Evenley, Pimlico and Helmdon farms which all rear chickens for Avara Foods.
The firm is a joint venture between Cargill and Faccenda Foods and is one of the UK’s largest chicken companies, which supplies major outlets including Nando’s, Lidl and Asda.
The charity’s investigators made multiple visits to the farms between January and March 2019 after receiving a tip-off about poor conditions.
HIDDEN CAMERA
After discovering bin bags full of dead birds inside one shed at Evenley Farm, they installed a hidden camera to record how long the carcasses were left among the living.
Animal Equality’s UK Director, Dr Toni Vernelli, said: “Sensationalist headlines about American chlorinated chicken would have us believe that British birds live a life of luxury, but these harrowing scenes reveal the truth.
“Crammed inside crowded sheds and bred to grow so unnaturally large that their joints and hearts can’t cope with the strain, chickens on British farms suffer every minute of their lives.
“Labels and certificates don’t prevent animals from suffering in the meat industry, but consumers can.
“Delicious, plant-based options are now widely available in shops and restaurants across the UK. It’s never been easier to leave chickens off your plate.”
Crammed inside crowded sheds and bred to grow so unnaturally large that their joints and hearts can’t cope with the strain, chickens on British farms suffer every minute of their lives.Animal Equality’s UK Director, Dr Toni Vernelli
All of the footage has been passed to the RSPCA, Red Tractor and Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency.
A Nando’s spokesman told the Mirror: “Animal welfare is as important to us as it is to customers, which is why all of our chickens are barn-reared in the UK to Red Tractor standards.
“We expect all our suppliers to operate to high standards and we are disappointed with the footage.
“We will be working with the supplier to get to the bottom of these allegations.”
An Avara Foods spokesman told the Mirror: “We take our responsibilities for the birds in our care very seriously and their health and welfare is of the utmost importance.
INVESTIGATION
“Our farmers are required to carefully inspect flocks on a daily basis – to identify any birds requiring attention or which may need to be culled.
“We are closely examining the contents of this report to assess compliance against our procedures.
“Initial findings indicate that, for the farm involved, our requirement to remove any culled or fallen birds as soon as they are identified has not been followed.
“Once our detailed investigation has been completed we will take all necessary action to ensure that this situation does not reoccur.
RETRAINING
“Anyone found not to be meeting our standards will be subjected to comprehensive retraining and further steps will be taken if appropriate.
“Red Tractor, the RSPCA and the Government’s Animal & Plant Health Agency have also made unannounced visits since this footage was taken and were satisfied with the health and welfare of the birds.”
A spokesman for restaurant chain Nando’s said: “Animal welfare is as important to us as it is to customers, which is why all of our chickens are barn-reared in the UK to Red Tractor standards.
“We expect all our suppliers to operate to high standards and we are disappointed with the footage.
“We will be working with the supplier to get to the bottom of these allegations.”
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Asda and Lidl referred to a statement from the British Retail Consortium.
The BRC said: “Our members take their responsibilities to animal welfare very seriously and work closely with trusted suppliers so that high welfare standards are upheld.
“They have strict processes in place and will thoroughly investigate any evidence of non-conformity to ensure that any problems are immediately addressed.”
Pimlico Farm referred to the statement from Avara Foods while Helmdon and Evenley were unavailable for comment.
Workers were filmed throwing and kicking some of them
Some died and were eaten by the rest of the chickens still living at the farm

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