The SPCA is investigating after a live chicken escaped death and ended up being sent through an industrial washing machine at a Vancouver slaughterhouse.
The incident happened at Hallmark Farms on Saturday, when the chicken apparently got trapped in some empty crates as they went through the washing cycle.
The chicken was spotted by photographer and Animal Justice advocate Kornelia Kulbacki, who was at the slaughterhouse to demonstrate against cruelty in the chicken industry.
“I was horrified to see a live animal huddled in the corner of a crate being stacked with other empty crates,” said Ms. Kulbacki in a statement. “I pleaded with one of the workers in charge to let us rescue the animal and take him or her to a sanctuary, but he refused.”
Kulbacki says chickens are emotionally complex animals, just like pet dogs and cats. Fellow advocate and lawyer Anna Pippus said the chicken was “soaked and distressed.”
“Allowing live animals to be exposed to the scalding water and chemicals of sanitizing washers is blatant animal cruelty,” said Pippus in the statement.
“Law enforcement authorities must act to hold the slaughterhouse accountable for its callous disregard of living animals.”
In a statement to Daily Hive, Murdock Pollon, director of purchasing at Hallmark Farms, called the incident “unacceptable.”
“Saturday’s incident is unacceptable and inconsistent with our high standards of animal care. Since the situation was brought to our attention, we have taken the following steps:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.