Reaction from a prominent animal welfare group was swift after a large company pleaded guilty to chicken abuse.
“Elite Farm Services’ guilty pleas represent progress for farmed animals,” said Daina Bray, general counsel at Mercy For Animals.
The reaction came on Wednesday, Sept. 29, two days after after the Chilliwack chicken-catching company pleaded guilty to two of the 38 charges it faced in BC Supreme Court.
“Companies and their owners are responsible for the animals in their care, and they should be held accountable when animals are mistreated,” Bray said. “While Mercy For Animals of course does not know which factors ultimately contributed to Elite’s decision to plead to those counts, we are pleased that the video evidence gathered by a Mercy For Animals whistleblower — which was deemed admissible by the court — likely contributed to their decision.”
Undercover footage of employees wearing Elite jackets showed them throwing, kicking, stomping and tearing apart birds at farms in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley and Surrey in 2017.
“Companies like Elite Farm Services and Sofina Foods are responsible for the living conditions of millions of chickens,” Bray said. “Mercy For Animals continues to call on chicken suppliers and retailers to step up and take meaningful steps to end some of the worst forms of cruelty for chickens raised for meat.”
– with file from Paul Henderson