At the end of July, a new shock inquiry was published by PETA. The report exposed the terrible conditions that 'free-range' chickens are forced to endure.
The 'free-range' label is supposed to guarantee a certain quality of life for these animals. The French animal welfare association Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) explains:
'Free-range' chickens are raised in buildings with a maximum capacity of 9 chickens per m² (6 chickens per m² in organic farming). These animals benefit from natural lighting, bedding, perches, and nests.
The chickens are able to go outside in grassy areas and have at least 4m² of outside space each where they can explore, graze and peck. Access to the outside world is vital to the wellbeing of these animals.
However, the video published by PETA, which was filmed on a farm near Cambridgeshire (UK) shows an entirely different reality. While the chickens kept there are not confined to tiny cages, they are instead crammed into warehouses in their thousands where they are kept in darkness and dirt.
A large number of them have partially or completely lost their feathers due to stress, and the dirty and cramped conditions that they are kept in. They very rarely if ever have access to the outside.
The only animals which reach maturity are the females, while the male chickens, considered useless in the egg industry, are killed shortly after hatching. Brutal methods such as gassing and even crushing can be used.
To make matters worse, conditions in these warehouses are sometimes so deplorable that chickens are forced to cannibalism and grazing on the bodies of other animals to survive.
To find out more, watch the video below (in French):
H/t: PETA France
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