In Britain, thousands of chickens met their end when temperatures inside a poultry farm rose to 102 Fahrenheit. The birds were baked to death because of the heat and were unable to be supplied to Tesco and Sainsbury’s. The birds died on what was the hottest day ever recorded in Britain. Because there was nothing else for the workers to do, they simply had to collect the dead birds up and put the dead chickens into piles.
One worker later admitted that so many birds died from the record-breaking heat that it took them days to remove their foul-smelling corpses from the poultry farm. This company supplies their chickens to grocery chains Tesco and Sainsbury’s, which are both popular across the British Isles.
The birds died because they were kept in corrugated iron sheds in the Moy Park Farm in Newton on Trend, Lincolnshire. The temperatures reached record highs and resulted in the deaths of thousands of the birds last Thursday.
It is unclear why so many birds died. Some people suspect that an air conditioning unit failed, and the birds had no choice but to swelter in the heat. Others worry that the chicken farmers did not even have an air conditioner for the birds, and care so little for their wellbeing that they were willing to feed British people tainted chicken if it came to that.
Moy Park is based in Northern Ireland and supplies the major supermarkets in the region. The farm describes itself as the “European Food Company of Choice” and was even awarded environmental accolades of a top environmental management certification last September.
Moy Park Farms follows the food standards proposed by Red Tractor, which requires members to sell only food “farmed with care” that is “responsibly produced.”
This incident, if not a mistake, flies in the face of those values.
Red Tractor previously admitted that its members had “breaches of standards” at some of Moy Park’s farms. The only reason Red Tractor learned about the nightmarish transgression was that an animal right’s activist went undercover to record footage of the “horrifying conditions” at Moy Park farms, which these thousands of dead chickens illustrate.
The video from Animal Equality U.K. shows the horrible conditions these chickens were forced to live in. Now the piles of dead chickens left to rot following the heatwave prove that this might be more the rule than the exception when it comes to Moy Park farms. The workers at the Lincolnshire poultry plant gathered dead chickens in wheelbarrows and transported them to larger piles, and it took them days to remove all the dead animals from the farm.
Animal rights activist Mike Bushby took to the internet to criticize Moy Park farms: “These hens (1000s of them) died during (Thursday’s) heatwave. Can you imagine how much they suffered?”
Moy Park sent a spokesperson to talk to the Daily Mail. They said: “The recent high temperatures have been very challenging for many in the farming and poultry industries. We are working closely with our farming partners to monitor the situation and have implemented procedures to help protect our birds against the extreme heat.”
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