Whistleblower: Mangled Chicks Thrown Alive Into Macerator at Local Hatchery

For Immediate Release:
May 5, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Clermont, Ga. – PETA has obtained video footage from a whistleblower revealing that unprofitable, injured, and overlooked chicks at a hatchery on Cleveland Highway operated by Wayne Farms—the seventh-largest poultry producer in the U.S., with annual sales exceeding $2 billion—were kept in stacked, filthy crates for prolonged periods before being dropped into a macerator and ground up alive. If the whistleblower hadn’t taken the initiative to check the crates each day, the chicks allegedly would have suffered into the following day before being killed. Grinding up unwanted chicks is standard practice in the chicken industry.

“The video footage is shocking and shows that injured chicks were left to suffer before being dumped alive into a grinder as if they were trash,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Dan Paden. “PETA urges Wayne Farms’ customers to reexamine their ties to this company, and we remind the public that the only truly humane meal is a vegan one.”

In response to the allegations, PETA has sent letters to grocery chains that do business with Wayne Farms—including Whole Foods, Walmart, Harris Teeter, and the local meal-kit company, Garnish & Gather—calling on them to reconsider their relationship with the supplier, which markets its chicken flesh as “humane” and boasts that animal welfare is “always a top priority.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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