IOWA: Video shows chicks ground up alive
Posted: September 1st, 2009 - 9:17am
Source: Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- An undercover video shot by an animal rights group at an Iowa egg hatchery shows workers discarding unwanted chicks by sending them alive into a grinder, and other chicks falling through a sorting machine to die on the factory floor.
Chicago-based Mercy for Animals said it shot the video at Hy-Line North America's hatchery in Spencer, Iowa, over a two-week period in May and June. The video was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
Hy-Line said in a statement it has started an investigation "of the entire situation," adding that it would have helped their investigation "had we been aware of the potential violation immediately after it occurred."
The video, shot with a hidden camera and microphone by a Mercy for Animals employee who got a job at the plant, shows a Hy-Line worker sorting through a conveyor belt of chirping chicks, flipping some of them into a chute like a poker dealer flips cards.
These chicks, which a narrator says are males, are then shown being dropped alive into a grinding machine.
In other parts of the video, a chick is shown dying on the factory floor amid a heap of egg shells after falling through a sorting machine. Another chick, also still alive, is seen lying on the floor after getting scalded by a wash cycle, according to the video narrator.
Hy-Line said the video "appears to show an inappropriate action and violation of our animal welfare policies," referring to chicks on the factory floor.
But the company also noted that "instantaneous euthanasia" — a reference to killing of male chicks by the grinder — is a standard practice supported by the animal veterinary and scientific community.