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Video Released Amidst Fast-Tracked State “Ag-Gag” Bill Aimed at Preventing Whistleblowing on Animal Cruelty
(Raleigh, NC) May 5, 2015 — With an “Ag-Gag” bill aimed at suppressing agribusiness whistleblowing now making its way through the North Carolina legislature, a powerful new undercover video released today exposes abuse to birds inside a local slaughterhouse. If the new bill SB433/HB405—supported by the North Carolina poultry industry—becomes law, this video may be the last honest look the public will get behind the closed doors of factory farms or slaughterhouses in the state.
Captured on camera by a Compassion Over Killing (COK) investigator who worked inside the Mountaire Farms facility in March and April 2015, the footage reveals:
- Birds being violently thrown around the facility
- Workers punching, shoving, and pushing birds who are hanging, upside-down in shackles
- A worker ripping out bird’s feathers and throwing them at another worker
- Birds being forcefully slammed into leg shackles
- Sick or injured birds being thrown into piles of dead and other dying birds like garbage material
“This level of violence against animals is so egregious that it violates the state’s animal protection laws,” says COK’s executive director Erica Meier. Meier explained that the nonprofit animal protection organization turned over the evidence to Robeson County law enforcement and is hopeful this case of cruelty will be taken seriously.
The North Carolina legislature is currently fast-tracking a dangerous anti-whistleblower Ag-Gag bill that, if enacted, would have prevented these violent acts from being documented and exposed. SB433/HB405 aims to make it illegal to document and expose nearly any wrong-doing inside factory farms and slaughterhouses — from animal abuse and labor issues to food safety and environmental violations.
“North Carolina’s chicken industry is desperate to cover up its rampant animal abuse, which is why it’s so feverishly working to enact this law,” says Meier. “Rather than doing the right thing to stop these abuses from happening, the North Carolina chicken industry is simply trying to prevent the public from seeing it and punishing anyone who would expose it.”
This isn’t the first time North Carolina has attempted to pass an Ag-Gag law that aims to keep Americans in the dark. In just the past few years, undercover investigations in North Carolina have exposed shocking cruelty, including sick and injured birds being buried alive at a chicken factory farm in Harnett County that was also documented by Compassion Over Killing. See more here: https://cok.net/inv/pilgrims/
Mountaire Farms is the 7th largest broiler chicken producer in the US with operations in North Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware.
About Compassion over Killing
Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal protection organization working to end the abuse of farmed animals through undercover investigations, litigation, corporate outreach, public education, and other advocacy programs. Online at https://cok.net, on twitter @tryveg