The UK animal rights organisation the Animal Justice Project has released the footage from his latest undercover investigation of Annyalla Chicks Ltd, a UK broiler chick hatchery that rears birds for the chicken meat industry.  The footage appears to show chicks crushed under trolley wheels, trodden on and injured as they were thrown into crates. The chicks not selected to be sold to chicken farms were ground up alive in a macerator, which is a legal method to kill chicks in the UK. The hatchery, in Boston, Lincolnshire, England, produces three million chicks a week for the meat industry and is a 2022 National Egg & Poultry Award winner.

Investigators claimed they saw repeated suffering and violations of animal welfare law including the following: staff flung chicks between crates quickly, and some picked up so many chicks at once that they were accidentally dropped; chicks often fell out of egg trays and hatching crates, leaving them injured and without water; some were then run over by trolleys or trodden on; chicks had to poke their heads through gaps for drinking water but were injured or killed when trolleys crashed into other trolleys, the wall or metal barriers; they often got their heads stuck in crate gaps; wings, legs and feet also became stuck in crate gaps. In one case chicks started eating the leg of a bird from above; staff who spotted sick or injured chicks left them despite rules that they should be removed immediately;  chicks had no access to water for up to eight hours after trolleys were removed from incubators.

According to the Independent, the hatchery was given an RSPCA Assured certificate in 2019 to provide chicks for farms endorsed by the animal welfare charity’s scheme, but the RSPCA suspended its certificate when The Independent showed it the footage.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.