Right now, every donation is matched until 31st December or until we reach our goal of £155,000. Don't miss out! DONATE NOW
Get the latest news and updates from Animal Equality

Animal Equality investigation reveals suffering of chickens destined for Nando’s, Lidl and Asda

Animal Equality has today released footage filmed over the past two months on a West Country chicken farm that supplies Faccenda - the UK’s second largest chicken company.
28/07/2017 Updated: 19/03/2021

Today, we are releasing scenes of extreme suffering and cruelty filmed over the past two months on a West Country chicken farm that supplies Faccenda – the UK’s second largest chicken processor. More than 150,000 birds are housed in four giant sheds on the farm in crowded, barren conditions – to end up on shelves and menus of retailers Nando’s, Lidl and Asda.

Distressing scenes captured by our investigators include:

  • Hundreds of dead chicks being dumped every day for several days, including one who was thrown into a wheelbarrow alive with dozens of dead bodies and left there for at least an hour.
  • A worker kicking birds during daily checks inside the sheds; collecting ill birds and breaking their necks, with some still alive and flapping their wings as he carried them around.
  • Lame birds in obvious discomfort attempting to walk; birds on their backs slowly dying because they are unable to stand and reach water and  birds with red, raw sores from the filthy ammonia-soaked litter underfoot.
  • Workers violently catching and crating birds for transport to the slaughterhouse, including carrying birds by one leg in violation of Defra’s welfare code.

The birds were just a few days old when we first filmed, yet already hundreds of chicks were dying every day. The bins outside the giant sheds were full of tiny bodies, still with their yellow baby feathers.

Just a couple of weeks later, the skips were fuller still and many of the birds were suffering from painful lameness.

By our last visit, the sheds were so crowded it was difficult to walk through them. Some birds were on their backs slowly dying as they were unable to stand up, while others had large sores from constantly sitting in the ammonia-soaked litter, in too much pain to walk.

This shocking reality suggests we are not ‘leaders in animal welfare’ as claimed in the current row over US imports.

Modern breeds of chicken have been selected to gain weight fast, which maximises profits at the expense of welfare. Their young legs struggle to support an adult-sized body and their small hearts are put under enormous pressure, leading to an on-farm mortality rate of 3-5%. That equates to tens of millions of birds not surviving to the slaughter age of six weeks. Yet the lives of these animals have such little value that it is more profitable to suffer these losses than improve conditions.

You can end this sad story by choosing to eat plant-based options instead of animal products.

United Kingdom

Latest News

On Wednesday 29th November, Councillors on the Planning Committee for North East Lincolnshire Council approved proposals for a controversial on-land intensive salmon farm in Cleethorpes, with four opposing and seven in favour. With plans to produce 5,000 tonnes of dead fish per year, there are no other fish farms of this scale in operation currently in the UK. Once constructed, the facility will be one of the largest in the world.

Each year more than 200,000 tonnes of foie gras made by force-feeding are imported into the UK. Its production is so cruel that it is illegal to make in the UK, yet we hypocritically continue to permit imports. Previously unpublished images taken inside several duck farms in France show the terrible animal suffering involved in foie gras production.

Following conversations with Animal Equality, Giles Watling MP successfully tabled a Westminster Debate, speaking up for millions of ducks and geese trapped in cruel foie gras farms.