PETA to Raise Stunning Methods with Sanderson

US - Welfare campaigning organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA) is to push for Sandersons Farms to switch to 'controlled atmosphere killing' at the company's annual general meeting today.
calendar icon 19 February 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

A press release from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA) states that one of its representatives, who owns 130 shares of stock in Sanderson Farms, will present a statement in support of the group's shareholder resolution at the company's annual meeting in Laurel, Mississippi.

PETA wants to determine what plans Sanderson has for switching to a less cruel slaughter method known as 'controlled-atmosphere killing' (CAK). Sanderson Farms operates eight processing plants in four Southern states. In 2008, the company killed approximately 390 million chickens and had annual sales totaling $1.7 billion:

PETA states that currently, Sanderson Farms kills chickens by dumping them onto conveyors and hanging them upside-down by their legs in metal shackles – often causing broken bones. The birds' heads are then run through an electrified bath of water that gives them painful shocks, often without rendering them insensible to pain. Many birds are still conscious when their throats are cut, and many are scalded to death in de-feathering tanks.

With CAK, the oxygen that chickens breathe is slowly replaced with inert, non-poisonous gasses – such as argon and nitrogen – putting the birds 'to sleep' quickly and painlessly, according to PETA. Studies of CAK conclude that in addition to being the least cruel form of poultry slaughter, it also reduces labour costs, improves working conditions, increases meat yield and quality, and reduces the potential for contamination.

Chicken retailers Burger King, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Wendy's, Popeye's, and Quiznos as well as grocery chains Safeway, Winn-Dixie, and Harris Teeter now give purchasing preference or consideration to suppliers that use CAK.

"Controlled-atmosphere killing is better for birds and Sanderson Farms' bottom line," says PETA Vice President, Bruce Friedrich. "Consumers care about animal welfare, so the last thing the company needs is to be associated with animal abuse."

Further Reading

- You can find out more from PETA by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story, in which PETA targets McDonald's over stunning methods, by clicking here.
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