Investigation: Meat Industry’s Deadly Foam
Recent footage previously broadcasted on Channel 2, made known by Anonymous’ Investigation Team, uncovered the method used to exterminate millions of chickens in Israel each year. Due to concern for poultry disease, the chickens are exterminated through the use of a device that emits large amounts of foam, and kills the animals. The footage shows chickens trampling one another out of attempt to escape the foam. When the foam covers the animals, they struggle and attempt to jump out of it, until they finally drown and die.
The footage captures the extermination of approximately 70,000 chickens that occurred several months ago, in three adjacent coops in the northern part of Israel, where Newcastle disease was found. Extermination is an acceptable practice in the poultry meat industry, and diseases are commonly seen in industrial coops. The density, filth and feces that gather on the coop floor (that are not cleaned until after killing the chickens) make way for and lure in diseases. Mostly, talk of these diseases reach the media only when they are threatening to humans. However, most of the diseases in coops are harmful to animals alone. They cause the death of millions of animals, and have a destructive impact on the Israeli economy; however, the media rarely mentions these diseases.
Newcastle is one of the most commonly seen diseases seen in coops run by the egg industry and the poultry meat industry. It damages the chickens’ respiratory systems, nervous systems, and digestive systems. Each year, millions of chickens in Israel are exterminated as a result of catching this disease, and therefore aren’t slaughtered. Recently, the European Union reported a lack of ensuring sufficient biological safety in Israeli coops, adding that Israel’s methods of dealing with Newcastle do not abide by to European standards. Israel’s economy pays for the industry and the Department of Agriculture’s negligence. In cases of extermination, the farmers receive compensation from the government provided by the insurance company Kanat. Moreover, the remaining carcasses are harmful to the environment.
While all extermination methods are cruel in one way or another, foam extermination is considered especially cruel. The chickens’ airways are blocked with foam, and the death experience is considered to be equivalent to drowning. According to the European Union’s instructions and the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health)’s guidelines, this form of death is prohibited. Likewise, extermination through foam is not permitted according to the American Veterinary Association’s guide, and is not mentioned among Britain’s permissible methods according to the Humane Slaughter Association. Gas extermination, when gas is spread into the coop in a deadly concentration, is a faster extermination method (yet is still problematic).
Ronen Bar, manager of Anonymous’ Investigation Team: “These disturbing images shine a spotlight on the slow, painful extermination of millions of animals, which cast a heavy moral shadow on the meat industry. This footage gives us a glimpse of these animals’ last moments, animals that are seen as nothing more than byproduct to the industry. Over eighteen million chickens never make it to slaughter, as a result of illness and death being common in the meat industry, and part of its twisted economic model. The power to put an end to this abuse is in our hands. It is a simple matter of supply and demand: if we boycott the meat industry, this abuse will come to an end.”