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"Slaughterhouse Rules": Animal Cruelty Uncovered at NC Poultry Farm

Video: Actress and activist Pamela Anderson shares what investigators found at the North Carolina Farm. Video courtesy: Mercy for Animals
March 26, 2015

DOBSON, N.C. - A North Carolina poultry farm that supplies one of the largest food-service distributors in the United States is the subject of an undercover investigation. Among the discoveries by a Mercy For Animals investigator at Wayne Farms in Dobson - birds having wings and legs broken, shocked with electricity and being scalded alive.

Nick Cooney, the organization's director of education, says what its video shows represents standard operating procedure for many factory farms.

"The conditions we found at the slaughterhouse, as horrific as they were, do not represent a departure from the norm," says Cooney. "This is not a case of one facility going outside the bounds of what is standard in the industry."

Wayne Farms supplies chicken to Gordon Food Service, which is a supplier for national restaurant chains such as PF Chang's, Melting Pot and Red Robin. Calls to Wayne Farms and Gordon Food Service were not returned for this story.

The USDA estimates as many as one-million birds are scalded alive every year in this country. While poultry is part of our culture's food chain, Cooney says it's important for farmers to utilize humane methods when preparing the animals for consumption.

"Chickens are smart, unique individuals, just like the dogs and cats that many of us know and love," says Cooney. "But unfortunately actions that would warrant felony-level cruelty charges if done to even one cat or dog are perfectly legal when done to chickens."

The practices at Wayne Farms are in accordance with permissible practices under USDA regulation, but would not be if they involved the processing of cows or pigs.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC