Cruelty complaint to the Mayor of the Cardinia
Shire Council and Councillor of "Port Ward'
Dear Mayor Pearson and Councillor Halligan,
Re: Cruelty Complaint Concerning Thousands of Crippled and Sick Birds Living in Filth
Your urgent help and attention is needed to stop the suffering of defenceless animals and the appalling conditions they are forced to endure in Port Ward. In the early hours of this morning I witnessed conditions that were truly heartbreaking - thousands upon thousands of five week old chicks were languishing in an enclosed shed covered in their own excrement, many were crippled/lame and some were unable to reach food and water. We removed 14 very ill birds from the property on the Corner of Tynong-Bales Road and Ropers Lane. There are three sheds of broiler chicks on this property.
We have reason to believe the problems on this property are longstanding and continual. I have been investigating broiler chicken sheds around the state for almost 15 years and the conditions inside this shed is the unhealthiest I have ever seen. At the best of times broiler chicken sheds are smelly putrid places, but this property is beyond comparison. The floor was saturated with moisture, it was caked in parts and our feet sunk into the sludge as we walked. The infant birds have no escape from these horrid conditions and it was causing them aggravated suffering and illness. Many suffered erythema, ammonia burns and caked excrement and scabs on their foot pads and underbellies.
I refer you to Section 2.4 of the Code of Accepted Farming Practice for the Welfare of Poultry:
2.4 Non-Cage Systems
18.104.22.168 Where litter floors are used the management of the litter is critical [ my bolding] for the welfare of the birds. In deciding what depth of litter to use consideration must be given to the stocking density of the birds and length of time in the shed. Poor litter management may lead to litter that is caked, wet or excessively dusty, and attempts must be made to prevent these conditions and rectify them should they occur.
I could follow with a long list of other violations to the Code of Practice and I will document them for you but I am seriously concerned that you investigate this property as a matter of urgency as the suffering of these young helpless birds is so pitiful and dire. The birds are five weeks old and broiler sheds are generally depopulated at six to eight weeks of age but please don't let these animals languish and suffer anymore.
I've attached some photographs our rescue team took inside the shed in the early hours of today and here is a link to some video footage evidence of the cruelty.
Please don't hesitate to contact me for any further information or if I can be of any help in your investigation of this matter. Thank you most sincerely for any help and relief you can bring to these babies.
Patty Mark President/Founder
Animal Liberation Victoria Inc.