The BC SPCA is investigating a new case of alleged chicken abuse in Abbotsford.
A press release issued Tuesday by the Animal Justice advocacy group says that a woman was walking her dog down the street in the early hours of June 29, when she witnessed the alleged abuse at a chicken facility.
The facility is identified as Neufeld Farms in the video posted on the Animal Justice website.
The organization says the woman recorded workers “clutching multiple chickens upside down in each hand, throwing the struggling chickens into crates, and shoving the crates closed while chickens’ legs and wings were still protruding.”
Lawyer Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice, said chickens farmed for meat “routinely endure unfathomable cruelty.”
“It is well-documented that these vulnerable baby animals are frightened and stressed, regularly suffering from broken bones, dislocated joints, bruising, and bleeding,” she said.
Pippus said Animal Justice’s position is that these types of practices violate animal protection laws.
“If someone were treating puppies this way, we’d be outraged and demand prosecution. Chickens are no different in their desire to be free from suffering and we should equally protect them from harm,” she said.
Animal Justice has filed an official complaint with the BC SPCA, which is investigating the claims.
The group is calling for charges under the provincial Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Audrey Neufeld of Neufeld Farms said she and her husband Dan will co-operate with any authority to determine if any abuse has occurred.
“As farmers, Dan and I can say that animal abuse goes against everything that we have worked for and that we stand for.
“From day one, when Dan places the baby chicks in our barn until the day they go to market, he is very careful to implement all of the good production practices and standards of the Animal Care Program.”
Audrey said they also support the process already begun by the industry to strengthen current practices and prioritize any changes that need to happen.
The footage comes just a few weeks after animals rights activist group Mercy for Animals released undercover video in Chilliwack showing employees ripping apart live birds, as well as stomping, kicking and throwing chickens.
The chicken-catching service had been hired to round up birds for transport to the Lilydale/Sofina Foods slaughter plant in Port Coquitlam.
Some of the employees were later fired.
In October 2016, Mercy for Animals released undercover video of turkeys allegedly being abused at Lilydale Food Products in Abbotsford.