Friday, 26 March 2010

Baiada chickens are "Made with cruelty," according to Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) volunteer Patty Mark. Mark was one of an ALV crew who, ALV says, completed a 2am visit to Peakhurst Farms, a Baiada supplier owned by contractor Con Kyriazis. This image of a live chicken sitting on top of the dead carcass of a barn occupant comes from video shot during the night, says ALV.

Lateline's expose on the treatment of food animals last night was pretty shocking, to be sure. Most shocking of all, however, is the fact that this situation is conducted under the noses of Baiada management.

The chickens are owned by the largest provider of chicken meat to Australian consumers - the Baiada group.

Baiada inspects Parkhurst Farm every two weeks and it says everything has always been in order.

The birds are sent to a slaughterhouse, which supplies supermarkets and fast food outlets including KFC.

KFC's website describes the barn where the video footage was shot as "large, clean, air-conditioned barns with continuous access to fresh food and clean water".

When contacted by Lateline, the company pulled on its blandest, most corporatised face, saying:

We confirm that we source chicken from the Baiada Group, being an industry leader.

Baiada have confirmed that this matter has been thoroughly investigated and their contracted farmer strongly denies these allegations.

So Con Kyriazis denies that there were 55 dead, rotting chickens in the part of the barn that ALV inspected and then filmed using a video camera? Presumably, this means that KFC says the ALV is lying when it says the footage was shot where and when they say it was.

As for labelling, it appears that the only form of label that is independently certified is 'organic'. Simply buying 'free range' means not much, the Lateline segment (which ran for an astonishing 10 minutes) says.

Broiler farm operations featured on Baiada's website look quite different from the messy, unclean barn shown in the ALV video.

Which is true?

Pic credit: Lateline.

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