Eyes on Animals is concentrating a lot of it´s efforts on chicken transport- in particular the way “spent” hens are transported. We are working towards these animals being better transported so that their suffering be limited. We regularly inspect chicken trucks and write reports about them to inform the authorities, the chicken industry and the media of our concerns with them.
Chickens are very crowded during transport and cannot stand up in the crates they are loaded into. The crates are stacked 8 levels high. Sometimes they are transported during very hot or very cold and wet weather, without any side protection from the elements. The manure falls down in between the crates, onto the chickens below. During loading, the chickens are grabbed and often shoved into the crates in a very rough manner. This often results in broken bones, in particular because their bones are already fragile from being depleted of calcium.
We have observed many chickens with their wings, feet and even head crushed by door of their crate. On every chicken truck we have inspected we have observed dead birds. We have also observed many broken crates still being used, despite the risk broken crates have of not being able to withstand the weight of the crates stacked above and thus collapsing in. Birds transported in old-fashioned crates where the doors are placed only on the top, are extremely vulnerable because once loaded, they are trapped and cannot be unloaded. They are prisoners of their crate, even during an emergency.
To read our special report, Cracks in the Crates, about the problems with current common poultry-transport crates and containers, click HERE.