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Chickens 'tortured' during slaughter: report

TT/The Local/pvs · 8 Mar 2011, 15:00

Published: 08 Mar 2011 15:00 GMT+01:00

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The agency stated in a press release that it considers the matter very serious from an animal protection standpoint and that three slaughter facilities have been reported on suspicion of breaching of animal welfare legislation.

"Scalding and plucking would subject a living chicken with feelings to unbearable pain," the agency wrote.

Thomas Jönsson, regional director of agency in northern Skåne, told the TT news agency that all four cases were uncovered in February of this year.

The reports are based on information from veterinarians which the agency has in place to monitor production at the three slaughter facilities.

Jönsson argued that while thousands of chickens are slaughtered on a daily basis, such incidents are very unusual.

"I have not experienced anything like it before," he said.

He saw no reason why the four cases occurred during a single month. He furthermore explained that it is not connected to an increase in production at the slaughter houses concerned, nor to changes in procedures or equipment which may explain accumulation.

"It seems to be a mere coincidence," he said.

The slaughter houses concerned in the report are Lantmännen Kronfågel AB in Kristianstad, Lagerberg in Norjeby AB in Sölvesborg and Torsåsens Fågelprodukter AB in Falkenberg, where two incidents were reported.

The slaughter of chickens begins with the birds first being stunned with electricity in a water bath. They are then emptied of blood and, once dead, are then scalded and plucked.

If the birds are not completely emptied of blood then there is a risk that they regain consciousness and thus are scalded and plucked alive.

Thomas Jönsson confirmed that the agency regards the reports as very serious and the prosecutor has been informed in accordance with the terms of the Animal Welfare Act.

Bjorn Elb at Torsåsens Fågelprodukter, said on Thursday that the responsible staff have been alerted after the reported incidents at the slaughter house.

"We have zero tolerance of this kind of thing," he said.

Story continues below…

The plant slaughters an average of 42,000 chickens per day.

The firm has announced that staff monitoring the process in which animals are bled prior to scalding will now be rotated every 15 minutes.

"They are not allowed to stand for too long. This is one of the actions we have taken," said Bjorn Elb.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:46 March 8, 2011 by Swedesmith
I raise chickens for table meat. I don't really enjoy the butchering process (niether do the chickens, I am sure), but I strive to make the process as quick and humane as possible. Scalding and pluckin the chickens while alive is beyond cruel.
18:07 March 8, 2011 by calebian22
We would hang them up by their feet, blood rushes to the head after a few minutes, then quick with a knife, off comes the head. The article didn't explain how they are drained of blood. With, "off with the head," there is no coming back to consciousness.
19:27 March 8, 2011 by Tanskalainen
If people knew what goes on in these slaughter houses they would vomit. They are nasty places and nasty things go on there. People should always pray before they eat. By the way if you ever travel to the U.S., DON'T eat the veal! What they do to veal calves there would give Joseph Mengele nightmares.
20:05 March 8, 2011 by Redbee
Glad to be a vegetarian however in the UK there is a big campaign to have CTC cameras in slaughter houses to prevent short cuts and blatent cruelty . People will think twice before abusing animals if they are shown doing it and thus prosecuted . As humans we show little compassion to animals who have as much right to live as us .
23:26 March 8, 2011 by lewni
At least chop their heads off right off, sounds like halal meat letting them bleed to death.....
00:02 March 9, 2011 by Swedesmith
@tans: you are right about veal. I love it but will not eat it due to how it is raised. Also, you should visit a confinement chicken operation. Great fun!
05:28 March 9, 2011 by Da Goat
How do they bleed the chicken ? the only and most effective way is to chop off their head, therefore how does the head feel what is happening to the detached body?

surely they don't just cut the neck the head is a waste product (not many people eat the head) seems like a strange report to me!
11:25 March 9, 2011 by glamshek
Chop off the head saying Allah o Akbar, drain out blood, pluck and scald. Safe, smooth and Halal way is the best way !
03:03 March 10, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Glad to see my exes family biz wasn't on the list. Gold Bird - 100% Swedish
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