Thousands of chickens in a factory farm in Lincolnshire were killed during last week’s heatwave – with some media outlets saying they were ‘baked to death’.
The dead animals were then dumped outside the farm’s massive sheds at Moy Park chicken farm in Newton on Trent.
According to reports, the facility supplies a host of major retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Co-op.
When a reporter from The Lincolnite visited the facility, they were told to stop taking photos (you can see the images here).
“We tried to do everything but there was nothing more we could do. The freak weather has done this to them, please don’t turn this into anything bad,” farm workers told the reporter.
“It has been really tough carting these animals out of the farm over the past couple of days. Animal activists don’t think that we care about them, but we really do.”
“The recent high temperatures have been very challenging for many in the farming and poultry industries,” said a spokesperson for Moy Park.
“We are working closely with our farming partners to monitor the situation and have implemented procedures to help protect our birds against the extreme heat.”
The farm is accredited by marketing scheme Red Tractor, which claims the products it certifies are ‘traceable, safe and farmed with care’.
“Animal welfare is our top priority and we require all certified poultry farms to do all they can to protect their birds. Record temperatures last week posed significant challenges for livestock, pets and humans alike,” Red Tractor said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with the poultry industry to review how to minimize the impact of extreme weather conditions on their farms.”
‘Death from heat stress’
According to Compassion in World Farming, the majority of chickens reared for meat are confined in industrial sheds. They are unable to avoid the heat as they would in natural conditions.
“It can get very hot inside the sheds, especially in summer. If the ventilation system fails, thousands of birds can die of heat stress,” said a spokesperson.