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Illegal footage shows chicken cruelty


Illegally obtained footage of chicken cruelty exposed

At 8.30pm tonight SAFE will launch a strategic public projection campaign using illegally obtained video footage from inside broiler chicken sheds to expose the suffering.

As many as 20 million baby 7-week-old meat chickens may be living in chronic pain for the last 2-3 weeks of their lives before being killed for their meat. A further two million birds die prematurely before reaching the desired slaughter weight of 2kg. National animal rights organisation SAFE claims New Zealand's 75 million meat chickens undergo suffering on a massive scale.

"In the past 10 years the broiler chicken meat industry has rapidly increased with chicken consumption nearly double of that in 1992. Today nearly 75 million selectively bred chickens are forced to exist in overcrowded conditions inside huge automated sheds. Bred to gain weight rapidly, the accelerated growth rate results in grossly overweight and often crippled baby meat chickens," says SAFE Director Anthony Terry.

"A typical meat chicken found in the supermarket is barely two months of age. As many as 20,000 birds are so tightly packed together that heat stress, leg disorders and organ failure are common. International research into standard broiler chicken production methods has revealed as many as 90 per cent of the birds exhibit detectable leg abnormalities with 26 per cent suffering chronic and painful leg disorders in their last few weeks of life."

New Zealand broiler chicken breeds and rearing methods are identical to countries where research has identified severe animal welfare problems within the broiler chicken industry. SAFE believes the same problems are prevalent in New Zealand and calls on the New Zealand poultry industry to prove their birds are not suffering.

Illegally obtained video footage of inside a Christchurch broiler chicken farm has been anonymously given to SAFE. The video depicts thousands of grossly overweight birds that can barely stand or walk in overcrowded conditions. SAFE will start projecting this footage onto strategic locations around Christchurch from 8.30pm tonight, in addition to the use of billboards and bus adverts aimed at exposing animal suffering.

"By projecting 100 foot-wide images of broiler chicken production methods onto walls around the city the public finally get an honest look at how 'barn raised' chickens are reared. We may be showing illegally obtained footage but this is a legal situation that needs to be exposed."

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