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Eyewitness Investigations

Cruelty at a Perdue Plant in Showell, Maryland

For two weeks in September 2004, an undercover investigator from Compassion Over Killing (COK) worked directly on the slaughter line inside a Perdue Farms slaughterhouse in Showell, Maryland—a supplier to KFC. Using a hidden camera, the investigator documented horrific abuses to animals every day. Below are some excerpts from the investigator’s log:

  • After only 30 minutes of working on the line, two things stood out more than anything else: how the animals were treated and how they reacted. … Nearly every chicken responded with screams and violent physical reactions from the moment they were grabbed by workers and as they went through the line. The screaming of the birds and the frenzied flapping of their wings was so loud that you had to yell to the worker next to you, who was standing less than 2 feet away, just so [he or she] could hear you.
  • I saw some chickens being shackled with their heads caught between their legs and the shackle. Since they weren’t hanging upside-down, their necks would completely miss the slicing blade, so they’d presumably go into the scalding tanks while fully conscious.
  • Today I saw about 50 birds being dumped from the transport crates onto the conveyor belt, a distance of approximately 8 feet. … The screaming was intense during the whole process. I looked onto the conveyor belt and could clearly see chickens with broken legs and wings, limbs sticking out [at] unnatural angles.
  • During one break, a worker repeatedly slapped a chicken in the face until the line started again.
  • Today, a worker walked the length of the live hang room floor, picking up chickens and throwing them against the shackles. … [T]he line shook so hard that some other birds already on the conveyor belt [were] knocked off onto the floor.
  • While one of the workers was talking about football, he “spiked” a chicken onto the conveyor belt, pretending he had scored a touchdown.

Despite Perdue’s claim on its Web site that “[i]ndividuals handling poultry must be trained in animal husbandry,” COK’s investigator never received any such training.

Click here for more information about Compassion Over Killing and its investigation.

Please write to KFC and Perdue to let them know that this level of cruelty will not be tolerated:

David Novak, Chair and CEO
Yum! Brands, Inc. (KFC’s parent company)
1441 Gardiner Ln.
Louisville, KY 40213
502-874-8790 (fax)
Jim Perdue, Chair and CEO
Perdue Farms Incorporated
31149 Old Ocean City Rd.
Salisbury, MD 21804
410-543-3292 (fax)

Click here to learn what else you can do to encourage KFC to stop tolerating such abuse from its suppliers.

Click here to support PETA’s work in behalf of factory-farmed animals who are suffering for KFC and other fast-food restaurants.

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