At approx. 9AM Eyes on Animals inspected a poultry-truck parked up along the A6 Highway as the driver was running early on his way to Storteboom slaughterhouse in Kornhorn. Inside the truck we saw several broilers with seriously deformed legs. They were barely able to stand or walk. See a video here >> The fact that we found broilers in this condition is unfortunately no exception. During inspections of broiler-trucks we regularly find animals suffering with these appalling deformities. Click here for images of earlier inspections >>
Deformities are often the result of breeding selection based on rapid growth (from 40 grams to more than 2 kilo’s in only 6 weeks) Besides genetics, the management, climate, floor-type and food can be of influence too. Deformities and other leg-abnormalities are known to be painful.
We also saw several broilers suffering from cold stress (puffed feathers and shivering). They were wet and therefore not able to withstand the inclement weather. The flooring was also wet, worsening the mobility of the broilers. It is possible the broilers were wet from the rain but also from a wet litter in the barn from where they were housed.
Legally, animals that are unable to walk (without pain) are not allowed to be transported (1). Animals should also be protected from inclement weather (2). There is no exception made for birds. We have therefore asked the NVWA and Storteboom for a clarification and their protocol on this matter.
Council Regulation (EG) No. 1/2005, Annex I, chapter I, 2
Wounded, weak and sick animals are NOT to be transported, especially in the following instances: a) when the animals are not able to stand on their own strength or without aid.
Council Regulation (EG) No. 1/2005, Annex I, chapter II, 1.1
Containers and their fittings shall be designed, constructed, maintained and operated so as to: (b) protect the animals from inclement weather, extreme temperatures and adverse changes in climatic conditions;