WASHINGTON, July 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- National animal rights organization Mercy For Animals today filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Foster Farms and the American Humane Association lie and mislead consumers following a graphic undercover video that exposed workers at AHA-certified facilities punching, kicking, and scalding birds alive. The complaint, filed this morning, accuses both American Humane Association and Foster Farms of torturing millions of animals and lying to consumers about it through placement of the "American Humane Certified" label on packages of chicken meat as well as false claims made in advertisements and on websites.
The shocking undercover footage, recorded at several Foster Farms facilities in Fresno County, California, reveals:
- Workers punching and tormenting animals before violently slamming them into shackles
- Workers carelessly throwing baby chicks onto the ground with no regard for their welfare
- Evidence of birds scalded alive in hot water feather-removal tanks
- Chickens bred to grow so unnaturally fast they often suffer painful leg deformities and other injuries
American Humane Association "standards," which cover more than one billion animals, fall far below those of virtually every other humane certification program, and barely exceed even the minimal standards set by the factory farming industry itself. According to Consumer Reports, AHA's program "does not require certain standards that consumers are likely to expect from a welfare label, and producers can be certified without fulfilling 100% of the requirements." In addition to Foster Farms, AHA has certified some of the cruelest factory farms in North America, including Butterball and Hillandale Farms, which have also been caught on video abusing animals.
AHA certified producers like Foster Farms are permitted to cram hundreds of thousands of birds inside dark, windowless sheds, with no access to sunlight or outdoor space for their entire lives. AHA standards allow factory farms to mutilate animals without painkillers, including burning off the tips of birds' sensitive beaks. Despite endorsing less cruel systems in 2010, AHA also continues to allow Foster Farms and other producers to slaughter chickens using outdated systems that dump, shackle, shock, and slit the throats of conscious animals. Birds subjected to such killing systems routinely endure physical violence from workers who throw, kick, and punch them.
"There is nothing humane about beating, throwing, shocking, and scalding animals alive," said MFA's president, Nathan Runkle. "The lives of chickens at Foster Farms facilities are filled with abject misery and deprivation. The American Humane Association and Foster Farms must stop deceiving consumers and take meaningful action to end the factory farming industry's cruelest practices. Claiming meat from abused animals is 'humane' is both offensive and illegal."
For more information about the investigation, visit www.AmericanHumaneScam.com.
The FTC complaint is available upon request.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals