Shocking New investigation Reveals Systemic Cruelty at Germany’s Two Largest Chicken Meat Producers
June 20, 2017
In our latest investigation, Animal Equality visited two chicken farms in Lower Saxony, Germany. These farms breed chickens for their meat (aka. broiler chickens) for Germany’s two market-leading chicken meat producers, Wiesenhof and Rothkötter. We have since filed charges against these farms.
Our team documented a horrifying in-depth look in 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. But during these days they go through hell.
Almost 100% of all chickens in Germany are raised on factory farms such as these. In the two farms we visited more than 200,000 animals were living there.
Systematic Animal Abuse
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. Also, these farms are often so crowded that they often don’t even have enough space to lay down.
This is completely legal.
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 suffocate.
Our investigators witnessed this routine cruelty on ten separate occasions.
A few weeks ago these horrifying findings shocked the public: A worker beat a chick with a shovel, threw him away alive and left him for dead. Our investigators found him twelve hours later brutally injured.
What You Can Do
It’s obvious that cruelty to chickens is systemic throughout the factory farming industry. The greatest way you can help the animals who suffer in these facilities is by eliminating or reducing your meat consumption.