Target: Ken Campbell, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Maple Leaf Foods
Goal: Improve hatchery processes so as to lessen the suffering of baby birds
A recent video taken at one of Maple Leaf’s poultry hatcheries shows staff members engaging in blatant acts of animal cruelty and disregard for animal protection laws. Employees are seen carelessly handling hatchling chicks, resulting in unnecessary stress, suffering, and death. Maple Leaf Foods is a major producer of poultry and meats in Canada, and should immediately improve animal welfare standards to eliminate these shocking scenes of cruelty.
During processing, freshly-hatched chicks are plucked from a conveyor belt to be sexed. They are then tossed down metal chutes to separate the males from the females. Chicks that do not hatch in what the facility considers timely will be ripped from their shells, causing injury and shock. Sick or injured chicks are shoved with a squeegee into a macerator, where they are ground up alive.
Those that survive the hatching and sexing processes are loaded into plastic racks, then enter a machine similar to an industrial dishwasher for a heat-sanitizing process. It is not uncommon for chicks to become stuck in the machine or its racks for multiple cycles, being drowned or boiled alive. They then enter a high-powered air dryer, where air pressure tumbles them about like popcorn in order to dry them off, a process which causes further stress and injury to the animals.
As if the hatcheries do not cause enough stress and injury, the animals are then transported to a separate facility to be raised, where they will carry out their short lives in cramped, squalid conditions. As one of the largest poultry producers in Canada, Maple Leaf should be striving to set a positive example for other producers through upstanding animal welfare standards. Your signature will demand that Maple Leaf conduct a thorough review of its procedures, and make improvements to its processes in order to lessen the suffering of its chickens.
Dear Ken Campbell, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Maple Leaf Foods,
A recent video of a Maple Leaf owned hatchery in Ontario shows blatant disregard by employees to the welfare of newly-hatched chicks. The video shows chicks being tossed around, ground alive, and even boiled to death. While some of these deaths are due to employee negligence, others are normal industry standards for hatchery facilities.
As one of Canada’s largest producers of poultry and meat, Maple Leaf should be making an effort to become an industry leader in the humane treatment of animals. I demand that Maple Leaf conduct a review of its facilities in order to determine what changes can be made to lessen the suffering of animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Scratchcradle via Creative Commons