Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Maple Leaf chick disposal under attack

Mercy For Animals has struck again, this time with an underground video of chick destruction at the Horizon Poultry hatchery at Hanover.

Mercy For Animals has also embarrassed Hybrid Turkeys of Kitchener with an underground video of turkeys being beaten to death. Several employees were disciplined and the company undertook increased vigilance to ensure its animal welfare policies are obeyed.

The Horizon video was handed to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which is the only mainstream news outlet so far to report on its contents.

Maple Leaf spokesman Ben Brooks, manager of poultry operations, said one employee has been suspended without pay. That employee made unacceptable comments about the fate of chicks whose feet were caught in a crate that went through a high-temperature washing machine.

But Brooks defended another practice condemned by Mercy For Animals – using a squeegee to deal with chicks entering a macerating machine. Mercy For Animals claims they were being cruelly shoved into the machine which was overloaded. Brooks says the employee was using the squeegee to separate chicks for improved entry into the macerator.

The two underground videos underline advice from Food and Farm Care, an organization that deals with animal welfare and farmers.

It advises farmers to be careful about animal welfare and about who they hire.