An animal rights group involved in a long legal dispute with Kentucky Fried Chicken about the treatment of the 700 million chickens it buys each year was to release a videotape yesterday showing slaughterhouse workers for one of its suppliers jumping up and down on live chickens, drop-kicking them like footballs and slamming them into walls, apparently for fun.
When officials from the KFC Corp saw the videotape on Monday, they said they would seek dismissal of the workers, inspect the slaughterhouse more often and end their relationship if the cruelty was repeated.
Animal-rights groups have long complained that sheer malicious behavior -- on top of the expected confinement and bloodletting -- goes on in slaughter plants, but this is the first time such graphic proof has been produced. The tape was taken surreptitiously by an investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who worked from last October until May this year at a Pilgrim's Pride plant in Moorefield,
KFC "will require that the employee or employees responsible be terminated," said Bonnie Warschauer, director of public relations, and further violations will "result in termination of our relationship."
Prominent veterinarians, including those on the company's animal-welfare advisory board, called for shutting down the plant and dismissing or prosecuting its managers. Ian Duncan, an animal and poultry science professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, who is a KFC adviser, said the tape "contains some of the worst scenes of animal cruelty that I have ever witnessed."
A Pilgrim's Pride spokesman said the company had an anonymous report about poultry mistreatment at the plant in April and had made it clear to its workers that "any such behavior would result in immediate termination." In light of the tape, the company said, it will reopen its investigation.
The undercover investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation and still does undercover work for the group, said he saw "hundreds" of acts of cruelty, including workers tearing beaks off, ripping a bird's head off to write graffiti in blood, spitting tobacco juice into birds' mouths, plucking feathers to "make it snow," suffocating a chicken by tying a latex glove over its head and squeezing them like balloons in order to spary feces at other birds.
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,
An Australian graduate student arrested for spying and expelled from North Korea last year said that he was threatened with a firing-squad execution and told not even US President Donald Trump could save his “sorry arse.” Among the crimes Alek Sigley was accused of committing was posting a picture of a toy tank on Instagram, which his interrogators told him was military espionage. Sigley, 30, was studying for a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang when he went missing in June last year, sparking alarm. A fluent speaker of Korean, he had written articles for several publications