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Investigation launched into treatment of chickens at 2 Alberta farms

The egg industry has launched an investigation after undercover video showed the controversial treatment of chickens at two Alberta farms.

The video, which was taken by animal rights group Mercy for Animals Canada, shows hens in cramped cages, wounded animals left untreated and workers allegedly smashing the heads of baby chickens.

“In such deplorable conditions you can imagine these animals suffer from extreme physical and psychological trauma,” explained Kimberly Carrol from Mercy for Animals Canada.

Click here to watch the undercover video (WARNING: Contains images which may be disturbing)

Peter Clarke of the Egg Farmers of Canada told CityNews he was horrified by the images in the video and vehemently denied that this treatment of animals is the norm in Canadian farming.

“It does not happen, for the most part, on our farms in Canada,” said Clarke. “None of the farms I’ve ever been on would condone such actions.”

Mercy for Animals Canada also claims that the eggs supplied from these farms were sent to Burnbrae Farms, which they say supplies McDonald’s Canada with eggs.

“McDonald’s Canada has both the power and the social responsibility to ensure that eggs sold in their egg McMuffins are not the product of egregious animal abuse,” said Carrol.

In a statement, McDonald’s Canada says the company “sources no eggs from the province of Alberta.”

Burnbrea Farms also issued a statement saying it does not tolerate animal abuse and that they have suspended the purchase of eggs from the farms depicted in the video pending full investigation.

Read the complete statement issued by McDonald’s Canada’s:

Contrary to recent media reports or allegations made by Mercy for Animals Canada, McDonald’s Canada does not source eggs from KuKu Farms or any Alberta farm mentioned in W5’s recently aired program, “Behind the Barn Door.”

Recent media reports have inferred a link between the farms referenced in W5’s story and McDonald’s Canada. This implied connection is concerning to McDonald’s Canada and we want to reiterate the following, which was communicated in our statement to several media outlets:

  •     McDonald’s Canada does not source eggs from KuKu Farms or the other Alberta farm mentioned in W5’s recently aired program. The company sources no eggs from the Province of Alberta.
  •     We care about the humane treatment of animals and believe they should be free from cruelty, abuse and neglect.
  •     Abuse is never tolerated in our supply chain and McDonald’s has strict policies in place concerning the treatment of animals that our suppliers must adhere to at all times.
  •     McDonald’s standards and policies cover critical areas such as feed, water, air quality and humane treatment.
  •     We work with our suppliers and outside experts to continuously improve our standards and practices, both within McDonald’s and across the industry.


Read Burnbrea Farms’ complete statement:

On Saturday, October 19, 2013, CTV’s W5 news program aired a segment that featured undercover footage taken at an Alberta layer and pullet farm by an animal rights activist organization.

Images contained within the broadcast depicted practices that Burnbrae Farms finds to be both disturbing and unacceptable. These images show practices that are inconsistent with Canadian egg industry standards and the Recommended Code of Practice for the Care & Handling of Poultry.

Burnbrae Farms does not tolerate animal abuse and we have suspended the purchase of eggs from the farms depicted in the video pending full investigation.

Burnbrae Farms is committed to treating all of our hens in a safe and humane manner and we expect all of our suppliers to do the same