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Exposed: Germany’s Largest Chicken Meat Producers

Smashed, kicked, thrown away alive: A new undercover investigation by Animal Equality exposes two German chicken factory farms of the largest producers in the country.
June 20, 2017

In our latest investigation, Animal Equality visited two chicken farms in Lower Saxony, Germany. These farms breed chickens for their meat for Germany’s two market-leading chicken meat producers, Wiesenhof and Rothkötter. We have since filed charges against these farms.

Our team documented in-depth the lives of these chickens: from the arrival of the day-old chicks to the farm until the day they are slaughtered. The life of these chickens lasts no longer than 42 days

Almost 100% of all chickens in Germany are raised on factory farms such as these. On the two farms, we saw that more than 200,000 animals were living there.

Chickens raised for their meat are selectively bred so that they gain weight as quickly as possible. The bodies of these animals are unable to cope with the rapid growth. They suffer from lethal cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and painful leg injuries. Towards the end of their short lives, most of the animals are unable to move without suffering intense pain.

Dozens of either dead or almost dead animals have to be removed every day. During our visits to the farm, we witnessed employees who would crush weak or injured chicks and throw their bodies into buckets. But the animals don’t necessarily die during this process. As our investigations reveal, wounded chicks were often thrown away alive. They are then crushed to death under the weight of other dead or wounded animals – or suffocated. A worker beat a chick with a shovel, threw him away alive, and left him for dead. Our investigators found him twelve hours later severely injured.

Our investigators witnessed the cruel and illegal treatment of chickens on ten separate occasions and denounce it to the authorities.

What You Can Do

The greatest way you can help the animals who suffer in these facilities is by eliminating or reducing your meat consumption.

 


Germany

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