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Video shows chicks ground up alive at egg hatchery...

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By FREDERIC J. FROMMER and MELANIE S. WELTE, Associated Press Writers

 

DES MOINES, Iowa – An animal rights group publicized a video Tuesday showing unwanted chicks being tossed alive into a grinder at an Iowa plant and accused egg hatcheries of being "perhaps the cruelest industry" in the world.

 

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The undercover video was shot by Chicago-based Mercy for Animals at a hatchery in Spencer, Iowa, over a two-week period in May and June. The video was first obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

"We have to ask ourselves if these were puppies and kittens being dropped into grinders, would we find that acceptable?" asked Nathan Runkle, the group's executive director, at a news conference in Des Moines. "I don't think that most people would."

The group said that tossing male chicks, which have little value because they can't lay eggs or be raised quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat, into grinders is common industry practice. United Egg Producers, a trade group for U.S. egg farmers, confirmed that.

The hatchery is owned by West Des Moines-based Hy-Line North America and is one of many operations in Iowa, the nation's leading egg producer.

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.

Company spokesman Tom Jorgensen said Tuesday an investigation was continuing, and once it's completed the company would release more information.

Runkle acknowledged that his group's ultimate goal was to get people to stop eating eggs. He said he believe many would refuse to eat eggs if they knew what happened to male chicks.

"The egg industry is perhaps the cruelest industry on the face of the planet," Runkle said.

Mercy for Animals also sent letters to the nation's 50 largest grocery store chains, including Walmart, Whole Foods, Safeway, Harris Teeter and Trader Joe's, asking them to include a label on egg cartons that says, "Warning: Male chicks are ground-up alive by the egg industry."

A spokesman for United Egg Producers called the proposal "almost a joke." Spokesman Mitch Head said Mercy for Animals had no credible authority, as well as questionable motives. "This is a group which espouses no egg consumption by anyone — so that is clearly their motive."

Mercy for Animals estimated 200 million male chicks are killed a year, which the United Egg Producers also confirmed.

"There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens," Head said. "If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we're happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need."

Using a grinder, Head said, "is the most instantaneous way to euthanize chicks."

There is no federal law that ensures the humane euthanasia of animals on farms or hatcheries, according to Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president and chief counsel of the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society also says that virtually all egg farms, even those that sell cage-free eggs, get their hens from hatcheries that kill their male chicks.

Hy-Line says on its Web site that its Iowa facility produces 33.4 million chicks. Based on that figure, Mercy for Animals estimates a similar number of male chicks are killed at the facility each year. Hy-Line did not comment on that estimate.

Runkle, of Mercy for Animals, said most people would be shocked to learn that 200 million chicks are killed a year.

"Is this justifiable just for cheap eggs?" he said.

As to more humane alternatives to disposing of male chicks, Runkle said the whole system is inherently flawed.

"The entire industrial hatchery system subjects these birds to stress, fear and pain from the first day," he said.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090902/ap_on_go_ot/us_egg_hatchery_investigation

 

----------------------

:mad: :tdown: :mad: :tdown: :mad: :tdown: :mad: :tdown: :mad: :tdown:

 

I can't really think right now i am so disturbed by this information. Utterly despicable and totally unacceptable. :mad:

 

- A

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Awww the poor baby chicks! :cry: :cry: :P

Expect PETA to step in...wait and see (I hope).

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You're right, absolutely right. I denounce this in its entirety.

 

Now pardon me while I go eat this hamburger.

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You're right, absolutely right. I denounce this in its entirety.

 

Now pardon me while I go eat this hamburger.

 

Lmao...nice one lol

X-D

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As someone who raises chickens (though I'm no egg company), I agree that males are rather pesky. Either you kill them, or you watch them get maimed or killed fighting with other roosters. I'd love to keep them all, but there's a limit to space and noise. Of course, perhaps a grinder isn't the kindest way to dispose of them, but for large companies it's more effective than alternative methods and does provide a very quick death.

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You're right, absolutely right. I denounce this in its entirety.

 

Now pardon me while I go eat this hamburger.

 

I think I'll have a chicken burger instead.

 

Really though, what is the point of the hatchery?

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I think I'll have a chicken burger instead.

 

Really though, what is the point of the hatchery?

 

Eggs = breakfast of champions.

 

Look I'm not condoning it but let's be reasonable here. What are they expected to do? Raise the chickens in a hatchery, increasing their expenses and driving the cost of eggs up across the nation? Life is not fair to all creatures and some things little can be done about...

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Eggs = breakfast of champions.

 

Look I'm not condoning it but let's be reasonable here. What are they expected to do? Raise the chickens in a hatchery, increasing their expenses and driving the cost of eggs up across the nation? Life is not fair to all creatures and some things little can be done about...

 

They could have them released in the wild...let the dang baby chicks live!

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Then you'd have Iowans complaining when their streets are overrun by the things. You can't please everyone no matter what. Efforts to do so just waste time when there are bigger things to fix. I know it sounds heartless but ever heard the saying "Nero fiddled while Rome burned?"

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Poor things... I just wish animals weren't mistreated and wasted. I still eat meat, though, and support omnivores because I feel as long as the animal is being used to its fullest, it's right. But this, just wasting it, is awful.

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They could have them released in the wild...let the dang baby chicks live!

 

And then we have more chickens in the United States than people.

 

I gotta agree with SubwayGuy - it's horrific, but what else can we do? If there were some cost-efficient way to keep them alive, I'm sure the hatcheries would opt for that. But there isn't.

 

And plus, playing devil's advocate here, but animals kill other animals too, not just humans. They don't care about what's "humane" or about kind deaths, just that they get their food by any means possible. How is this any different? What are we supposed to do, prevent those instances from happening as well?

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Give them away free to countries needing food.

 

I personally am not eating eggs anymore, and minimal chicken products till they figure out that killing, harming, making animals out as product stops.

 

- A

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Give them away free to countries needing food.

 

I personally am not eating eggs anymore, and minimal chicken products till they figure out that killing, harming, making animals out as product stops.

 

- A

 

News flash: It's not going to.

 

While giving them away free sounds like a good idea, it still isn't cost-efficient. Who pays for the shipping? If the company does, it's not cost-efficient. If the receiving country does, then it's not free. If the US government does, it sets precedents that will tie up our legal system and cost us more money in the long run, setting us deeper into debt.

 

The demand for these eggs will always be there, whether it is for simply eating them or for using them to cook other foods. It's regrettable that this happens, but there's really no way around it.

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So that is how those tasty chicken mcnuggets are made. PETA stands for People who Eat Tasty Animals, right?

 

In the last few weeks I've been reading the op-ed section of the NY Daily News and there has been more outrage about animal abuse (see: Vick, Michael) in the letters to the editor than for important issues like healthcare or the the two wars this country is fighting overseas. Some people have messed up priorities.

Edited by Aqueduct

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It just means people care a lot about animals, from what ive noticed people seem indifferent either way to teh war and govt run care at this point

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So that is how those tasty chicken mcnuggets are made. PETA stands for People who Eat Tasty Animals, right?

 

Well, how do you think those McNuggets got so small? Throw 'em in the machine, clip clip snip snip BOOM! Instant mcnugget.

 

Now don't ask me how to make Slim Jims. Anything with beef lips in it...um...I don't want to know. Just give it to me and take my damn 50¢.

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Well, how do you think those McNuggets got so small? Throw 'em in the machine, clip clip snip snip BOOM! Instant mcnugget.

 

Now don't ask me how to make Slim Jims. Anything with beef lips in it...um...I don't want to know. Just give it to me and take my damn 50¢.

 

Hey maybe Slim Jims are related to this story. I read the ingredients once and one is "mechanically separated chicken"...not kidding about that.

 

Signed,

A fellow Slim Jim eater

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Well, how do you think those McNuggets got so small? Throw 'em in the machine, clip clip snip snip BOOM! Instant mcnugget.

 

Now don't ask me how to make Slim Jims. Anything with beef lips in it...um...I don't want to know. Just give it to me and take my damn 50¢.

 

LOL!!!! Beef lips in it???? I got tears rolling down my face:cry::cry:,......

 

I do find it cruel, just thinking of those lil chicks last screams as those blades start to shred them alive. Now what to eat, McChicken, McNugget, Original chicken, Spicy Tender chicken crisp, ohh I know!!!!, tasty chicken rings..........

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Isn't there a less painful way of killing the male chicks than grinding them alive? Some kind of lethal injection administered by a machine, perhaps?

 

And why cannot these chicks be sold to poultry farms to be raised and then consumed? It seems such a waste. Or are roosters never eaten?

 

Besides, they cannot kill every male chick on the planet; they need some to breed and produce eggs to hatch the next generation of egg-layers. While there is understandably a large surplus, they should not be simply killed off in a cruel and inhumane way.

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