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Perdue Farms Hits Back at HSUS Lawsuit

03 April 2013

US - US integrated poultry processor Perdue Farms has hit out at the lawsuit raised against the company over its Humanely Raised Process Verified Program.

The company said that the lawsuit was not initiated by consumers, but by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which it describes as a radical, pro-vegan animal-rights group opposed to raising animals for food production and is in no way associated with the local humane societies that run animal shelters.

"They take exception to all forms of modern animal agriculture and it is obvious that is the reason for this lawsuit.,"Perdue said in a statement.

Perdue said that it is HSUS’s third attempt to discredit our Poultry Welfare programme after their earlier efforts were dismissed.

The judge gave them an opportunity to come back with a more specific complaint, which is what they have now done. Perdue stands by our USDA Process Verified Program Humanely Raised claim and we plan to vigorously defend ourselves.

"It is important to note that HSUS falsely asserts that there is no difference between Perdue’s welfare program and industry standards," Perdue's sattement said.

"In truth, the Harvestland/Perdue Poultry Welfare Program exceeds the National Chicken Council guidelines in several areas, including monitoring air quality in the poultry house, video monitoring of live-bird handling areas at the processing plant and USDA audits of producer farms and our hatcheries.

"Contrary to the image HSUS attempts to portray, all of our chickens and turkeys are raised under a strict USDA Process Verified Program that ensures adherence to our Poultry Welfare Program from hatchery to processing.

"This includes numerous, documented checks and audits at every step in the process. All of our chickens and turkeys are raised cage-free on family farms.

"They live in temperature-controlled housing with fresh-air ventilation, where they are protected from disease, predators and the elements. They have constant access to food and water, room to move about and exhibit natural behaviors, and cycles of light and dark to ensure resting periods.

"Chickens and turkey are transported from the farm to the plant in coops specially designed to protect them from injury and weather extremes. Upon arrival at the plant, they are protected in covered sheds, and fans and misters ensure bird comfort during hot weather. Travel times and waiting times at the plant are limited by our Poultry Welfare Program and are carefully monitored as part of the Humanely Raised Process Verified Program.

"In addition to the USDA Process Verified Program, Perdue’s poultry welfare program is subject to numerous customer audits."

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