More Than Salmonella: PETA Exposes Foster Farms’ Misleading ‘Humane’ Claims

Notorious Poultry Plants Subject Chickens to Crowded Warehouses and Allow Crippling Deformities, Terrifying Slaughter at Just a Few Weeks Old

For Immediate Release:
July 10, 2014

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – With more than 600 people already sickened in a salmonella outbreak connected to Foster Farms—which was suspiciously announced quietly on the eve of the July 4 federal holiday—and as members of Congress push for Foster Farms’ slaughterhouses to be shut down, PETA is alerting consumers to shocking truths about the company’s much-publicized “American Humane Certified” label.

In a post published today on, the group reveals some of the appalling practices permitted in “certified” as ” humane” operations such as Foster Farms’:

  • Chickens are crowded by the thousands in warehouses that reek of ammonia. They’re never allowed to go outside or express natural behavior such as nesting and establishing a pecking order.
  • Chickens are bred to grow so large so fast that some have difficulty even walking under the weight of their unnatural bodies.
  • Chickens are still babies—only a few weeks old—when they reach a “marketable” weight and are sent to slaughter.
  • At the slaughterhouse, chickens are shackled, are hung upside down, and have their throats slit while still conscious, and many are scalded to death.

“If the risk of salmonella isn’t enough to make consumers sick, the thought of chickens suffering in disgusting, crowded warehouses for businesses such as Foster Farms should do the trick,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Like waiting until the eve of a federal holiday to acknowledge a salmonella outbreak, the ‘certified’ as ‘humane’ label is a PR ploy that misleads kind consumers, and it doesn’t help animals.”

Foster Farms’ original announcement of its “humane” certification cited a study finding that 74 percent of West Coast consumers thought that large producers should raise animals for food in a humane way—in other words, Foster Farms markets its chicken as such to meet consumer demand.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website.


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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