Researcher, writer, teacher and animal activist Dr Michael Morris writes that what we do to chickens is one of the world’s worst injustices.
Main Points of the article:
Farmed chickens are genetic freaks, bred to be clinically obese and fast-growing.
A government report from 2006 found that in New Zealand 38 per cent of these Cobb and Ross chickens suffer from painful lameness.
Their hearts strain to pump blood through their bloated bodies, and this leads to heart attacks and abnormal fluid build-up. Up to 12 per cent of chickens collapse and die before reaching slaughter weight.
Any birds that survive until slaughter are scooped up and shipped to the slaughterhouse, where they face fresh torments, including shackling upside down by the legs. Researchers examining the pain receptors in the legs of broiler chickens conclude that shackling is a “very painful” procedure.
A combination of high line speeds, struggling chickens, and varying current means that stunning is missed in up to 60 per cent of cases.