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INVESTIGATION: Suffering, Abuse and Cannibalism Filmed on British Chicken Farms

May 13, 2019 Updated: January 8, 2020
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Animal Equality has released a new investigation showing footage of extreme suffering, cannibalism and abuse on farms supplying chickens to the restaurant chain Nando’s, and retailers Lidl and Asda in the UK.

THE DETAILS: Animal Equality’s investigators filmed at Evenley, Pimlico and Helmdon farms — three Red Tractor-certified UK chicken farms in Northamptonshire, England, that produce chickens for Faccenda, one of the UK’s largest chicken companies which supplies major outlets including Nando’s, Lidl and Asda. The harrowing footage shows:

  • Dozens of birds collapsed under the weight of their unnaturally large bodies and unable to stand, many flapping frantically in a desperate attempt to lift themselves up
  • Dead birds left to rot among the living, leading to cannibalism on at least one farm
  • Workers callously breaking birds’ necks and leaving them to convulse amidst the flock
  • Dying birds thrown onto a pile and left to suffer for hours as workers cleared the shed for slaughter
  • Workers deliberately kicking and stepping on birds repeatedly.

TIPPED OFF: Investigators made multiple visits to the farms between January and March 2019 after receiving a tip-off about poor conditions. On every visit, they found chickens unable to stand and dead birds left to rot inside the overcrowded sheds. 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. The camera recorded workers breaking birds’ necks and leaving them to die, workers purposely kicking and stepping on birds, and dying birds left to suffer for hours in piles.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING: “Crammed inside crowded sheds and bred to grow to such an unnaturally large size that their joints and hearts can’t cope with the strain, chickens on British farms suffer every minute of their lives,” explained Dr Toni Vernelli, Executive Director of Animal Equality UK.

WHAT COMES NEXT: 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 world. It’s never been easier to leave chickens off your plate. Ready to make the switch? Visit for tips and recipes!


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