Exposed: Chicks Left to Suffer and Die at Chicken-Meat Supplier to Kroger, Arby’s

PETA Eyewitness Video Reveals Suffering at Poultry Producer, Where Live Chicks Were Ground Up, as North Carolina Defends Divisive 'Ag-Gag' Law

For Immediate Release:
July 10, 2016

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Kinston, N.C. – A new PETA video exposé of a massive hatchery operated by Sanderson Farms, Inc.—which is the third-largest poultry producer in the U.S., supplying chicken meat to Kroger, Sysco, Arby’s, Chili’s, and others—reveals that chicks who hatched later than expected were deemed useless to the company and often left to suffer in barren plastic crates. Discarded chicks who survived were put into a giant metal macerator and ground up alive—but some missed the machine’s entry and were left to die slowly underneath the machine.

PETA’s video shows day-old chicks—deprived of warmth, comfort, and mothering—gasping for air, some too weak to stand or lift their heads. One dead chick appeared to have a broken neck.

PETA’s eyewitness captured the footage at the Kinston, North Carolina, hatchery in late 2015, before North Carolina’s controversial “ag-gag” law went into effect in January. The law—which PETA is challenging in court as unconstitutional—gives employers the right to sue those who document and expose cruelty to animals on their property without permission. After the law went into effect, PETA was unable to record the suffering that was witnessed. PETA and a coalition of groups filed a federal lawsuit in January challenging the law.

“Day-old chicks at Sanderson Farms never knew their mother’s warm care and protection, only the terror of being left alone for hours as they slowly died or were ground up alive,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging consumers to remember the cruelty that North Carolina’s ag-gag law is trying to cover up and to choose vegan meals.”

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind