Two types of drugs were found in the chicken feed. Nicarbazin was found in Inghams in Queensland and Baiada in South Australia when the chickens were 5 weeks of age. We also found salinomycin at a Cordina farm in New South Wales in feed for chickens of 3 weeks of age. Both of these drugs are antibiotic type drugs and are used to stop the occurrence of coccidiosis. However it's important to remember that these chickens haven't been diagnosed with coccidiosis, this is routinely used as a preventative measure. Animal husbandry practices such as tight confinement, lack of fresh air, the accumulation of faeces and the insect infestations that then come to feed on the waste increases the likelihood of wide spread coccidial infection. The use of these drugs to control illnesses relating to husbandry is an indication of the problems within intensive farming systems such as this.
Three broiler chickens were rescued from a Cordina factory production site. They were monitored weekly and their progress was compared to the chickens remaining in the shed. At slaughter age the chicks who were in the shed weighed almost twice the weight of the chicks that were rescued. The chickens who would be slaughtered weighed around 3kgs and the chickens who were rescued weighed roughly 1.8kgs. This suggests that selective breeding is not the only cause of rapid growth.
In many ways this could be considered aggravated cruelty to animals- chickens are genetically bred to grow very large very quickly, they're kept in a highly stressful environment living in their own excrement for weeks in tight confinement, unable to exercise, unable to perch, many struggle even to stand. Many of the chickens are clearly crippled at a very young age.
Animal Liberation was supplied with footage from numerous major broiler operations across the country revealing gross mistreatment of broiler chickens. The bodies of these birds are supplied to supermarkets and fast food outlets across Australia.
The footage depicts conditions and practices found at Inghams in QLD, Baiada Poultry in SA, Inghams, Cordina and Red Lea Farms in NSW and Turi Foods in VIC. These companies represent the largest operators in the meat chicken industry and are not rogue operators.
An Animal Liberation exposé
Airing never seen before footage of the cruel broiler chicken industry
The regulating authorities have failed to advocate for these animals. We see it as our duty to assist and protect these animals by documenting evidence of their suffering and to show the public the truth of what is happening behind these shed walls, to put pressure onto the regulating authorities to act to end this suffering.