B.C. farm labour company fires employees in wake of chicken abuse video
Warning: This story contains details some may find disturbing
A B.C. farm labour company says it has fired a supervisor and five employees after undercover video captured the abuse of chickens on several farms.
Elite Farm Services Ltd., based in Chilliwack, B.C., also said it will be conducting an internal audit to review all practices, guidelines and training.
“We are sickened with the footage and want to ensure all our suppliers and producers that this is not reflective of who we are, our fundamental beliefs or behavior we accept from our employees,” Elite president Dwayne Dueck said in a statement Tuesday.
The firings were announced in the wake of allegations of “egregious” abuse of chickens handled by Elite employees.
Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group that produced the undercover video, has filed a formal complaint with the RCMP, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the BC SPCA.
Elite, a licensed farm labour contractor hired by Sofina Foods Inc., sent its chicken-catching crew to various broiler chicken farms across the province to load chickens into crates and onto transport trucks. The chickens were then transported to a Lilydale slaughter plant in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Video shot by a whistleblower who worked for Elite shows a worker pulling a live chicken whose leg was stuck under a crate until the bird’s leg ripped off. Other footage shows workers slamming chickens against crates, and mimicking sex acts with the birds by thrusting into them.
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