Factory farms investigation uncovers shocking conditions 'Our insatiable desire for cheap chicken has led to an alarming rise in US-style mega-farms that prioritize profit over welfare' - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

Chickens ‘Left To Rot’ On Factory Farms Supplying Supermarket Giants, Footage Reveals


3 Minutes Read

Factory farms supplying UK supermarket giants found chickens dying of thirst on ‘breeding grounds of disease’, a major new investigation has uncovered.

Three large sites supplying Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, and KFC revealed ‘filthy’ conditions, investigators claim.

‘Filthy’ factory farms

The shocking discoveries came after leading vegan charity Viva! launched an undercover investigation.

It took place on farms in Hertfordshire, Somerset, and Derbyshire.

The former, funneling Avara Foods -Tesco’s biggest poultry supplier – showed 30,000 chickens dying of dehydration in horrific conditions.

According to Viva!, their ‘grotesquely overweight’ bodies meant they are unable to access water points because their legs are too weak. Growth is often maximized in intensive farming to reach ‘slaughter weight’ sooner.

And it causes a host of issues such as lung problems, broken bones, and weakened hearts.

A spokesperson told The Independent: “The damning footage also shows dead birds trodden into the ground. And covered with litter, which appear to have been left for some time.” This is ‘unsurprising given the sheer number of birds in the shed’.

Factory farming footage shows 44,000 birds kept in cramped conditions

Undercover investigations

The other investigations took place on Hook 2 Sisters in Somerset and one of Moy Park’s 800 sites, Overbrook Farm. Together, they supply Aldi, Co-Op, KFC, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco.

At Hook 2 Sisters, ‘numerous’ dead and decaying birds were discovered. Moreover, many others had ‘hock burns’ caused by ammonia on the ground.

Some displayed pecked feathers by other birds, which displays a sign of behavior change due to conditions. This is well documented on factory farms. And, widely understood as a sign of frustration, stress, and boredom.

‘Countless’ birds kept at Moy Park were also dead, and ‘left to rot’. 

The farm is owned by Pilgrim’s Pride – an American brand under meat giant JBS. Moreover, it slaughters a staggering six million birds a week.

Factory farms

Head of Investigations at Viva! is Lex Rigby. She told the news outlet: “I am concerned to see examples of cannibalism, feather-pecking, and birds suffering severe feather loss.

“Marketing leads customers to believe the UK has some of the world’s highest animal-welfare standards. But the reality is a far cry…”

Lex Rigby, Head of Investigations at Viva!

“Our insatiable desire for cheap chicken has led to an alarming rise in US-style mega-farms that prioritize profit over welfare.

“Vast industrial rearing facilities litter the countryside, causing unnecessary pain and suffering. As well as damaging our health and the environment.

“Marketing leads consumers to believe the UK has some of the world’s highest animal-welfare standards. But the reality is a far cry from the adverts.”

Viva! is a vegan charity that campaigns against factory farming

Certified farms

All farms held approvals from Red Tractor, an agency assuring high standards. Products displaying its logo are ‘responsibly sourced’ and from animals that have been ‘well cared for’.

But a number of investigations have been launched following the discovery.

According to Tesco, ‘any claims of suppliers falling below these are unacceptable’. Moreover, a spokesperson for Moy Park said it will launch a thorough investigation. But Hook 2 Sisters affirms the allegations are ‘untrue’.

Red Tractor says it launched an investigation to ‘substantiate whether they presented an accurate representation of the farms’ management’. All sites are complying with its scheme, the investigation concluded.

You can find out more about Viva!’s investigation here

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The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

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11 months ago

Just don’t buy it then it will be stopped eventually if there’s no call for a product …terrible ….like all meat torture

11 months ago

Absolutely disgusting we care more about our welfare and health than any animal even if we are told we are meat eaters which is debatable considering they lie about everything else there is no need for this kind of abuse in reality there so much evidence of contaminated meat due to the conditions and stress animals are put in that we digest how can that be healthy for either human or animal it’s all about profit and we as humans whom are supposed to be intelligent allow this for greed and low prices we should be ashamed that we contribute to this come on people look at Wats just happened in the world should we really trust anyone one especially with wat we consume

Hard Stare
Hard Stare
11 months ago

Undoubtedly there is some truth in these accusations however you can also guarantee that it will have been blown out of all proportion to what was actually found. Sticking to the truth is a far better way to get people to take you seriously.

Darrell Sawczuk
Darrell Sawczuk
11 months ago
Reply to  Hard Stare

Thanks for your comment, have you looked at the images and footage from the investigation? You can find it here https://viva.org.uk/animals/campaigns/investigation-broilers/

Tina Barden
Tina Barden
10 months ago
Reply to  Hard Stare

This is the disgusting truth of big farming industry. The law in America for “Free range” meat or eggs has a loophole. As long as the birds see 1 hour of sunshine a day, they can be marketed as suck. So the just open the doors and cages (birds won’t go out due to living their whole lives like that) for an hour, then close the cages. They can then market that product to people who think they’re making a difference through no fault of their own. The only animal protien I consume are my own chickens eggs. I dont care if other people eat meat, because frankly, it’s none of my business. But the big meat industry is out of control on animal cruelty and it’s not getting any better.

Deb Otter
Deb Otter
11 months ago

This needs to go mainstream news or social media to make people aware as those that eat meat or animal products just automatically reach for that animal product without thinking about how it got there

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20 days ago

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