Attributable to Tom Super, NCC vice president of communications
Consumers want to be sure that all animals being raised for food are treated with respect and are properly cared for during their lives. The people and companies involved in raising chickens share the public’s concern.
The conditions described in the New York Times article, and shown in the accompanying video, are not an accurate representation of the health and welfare of today’s broiler chickens. Nor are they indicative of the many Perdue farms that I have personally visited.
The U.S. national broiler flock is incredibly healthy – mortality and condemnation rates for broilers, the most sensitive indicators of the health and well-being of any flock, are at historic lows. Improved nutrition, breeding, genetics, veterinary attention and technology, which include optimum growing conditions within climate-controlled barns, allow chickens to naturally reach market weight quickly– all without the use of hormones or steroids.
All of the issues raised in this article and video are cases of mismanagement that could have been easily and humanely addressed to prevent bird suffering. Unfortunately, both Mr. Kristoff and representatives of Compassion in World Farming refused for weeks to divulge the name and location of this farm so that Perdue could investigate the allegations of mistreatment or poor conditions, something we all take very seriously.
Farmers and processors have an ethical obligation to treat animals humanely, and from a pure business standpoint, it does not benefit a farmer or a company to harm birds in any way. The birds are their livelihoods, and chicken producers aim to do everything possible to keep them healthy.
To see videos of a modern broiler farm and how farmers care for their chickens, please watch the video below or click here.