New photos reveal that meat supplied by chicken producer 2 Sisters is on sale in Lidl despite the retailer claiming it was ‘not supplied by [2 Sisters]’ after undercover footage emerged accusing Lidl of permitting animal cruelty on its supplier farms.
Last week a former employee of an intensive chicken farm in Lincolnshire released shocking footage, showing that birds where routinely run over. The chickens are regularly run over by forklift trucks. Workers described it as “part of the job, it can’t really be avoided.”
Major welfare issues. The fast growing “Frankenchickens” on the farm are routinely suffering from welfare issues such as broken bones, heart attacks, arthritis, ammonia burns, and overcrowded conditions.
Severe injuries. Run over chickens were found still alive with severe injuries. One bird was seen crawling on the floor with broken legs. Another was gasping with an open wound exposing their internal organs.
The farm manager was filmed stating “this size [chicken] here will go to Lidl.”
However, despite internal Lidl documents listing the company as a supplier, Lidl subsequently denied involvement with the footage, telling the Daily Mirror that: “The farm and supplier in question does not supply Lidl GB.”
Speaking to Newsquest, Lidl accused Open Cages of making “false allegations.”
New photos, taken by volunteers and staff members from The Humane League UK and Open Cages in a variety of Lidl GB stores, show welfare-assured ‘Birchwood’ chicken on sale with the 2 Sisters ID code GB 2037.
Slaughterhouses in the UK have unique 4 digit codes which must be displayed on the packaging. 2037 can be traced back to the 2 Sisters slaughterhouse in Scunthorpe which the farm in the footage supplies.
Natasha Maynard Reeves, a volunteer for The Humane League UK who took the Horely photos, said: “I was shocked and upset to find the meat from the very slaughterhouse these birds were sent to on sale in Lidl after they had denied any involvement.. There is no level of dishonesty they won’t stoop to – Lidl, the blood of millions of suffering chickens is on your hands. No more lies, you must sign the Better Chicken Commitment.”
Connor Jackson, CEO & Co-founder of Open Cages said, “Lidl has successfully misled the entire British public – including leading journalists – into thinking they had nothing to do with this horror farm.
“These new photos prove once and for all that Lidl is accountable to what has happened here. If only Lidl spent as much money on improving their animal welfare standards as they do on crafting deceptive PR strategies, they could make a difference to the lives of millions of animals.”
Leading animal welfare charities Open Cages, The Humane League UK and the RSPCA are urging Lidl to adopt the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) standards.
Supermarkets including M&S, Waitrose and Lidl France are among over 550 companies to have signed up. Lidl has refused to adopt it in any other country where it operates.
TV Presenter and animal advocate Chris Packham has publicly called on Lidl to sign up.
Peckhan said, “Lidl GB is the largest retailer of chicken in Europe with immense power and responsibility . But they’re refusing to end animal cruelty like this. Please , Lidl , use your influence and do the right thing: sign the Better Chicken Commitment.”