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No charges in chicken cruelty case

January 12th, 2005, 11:38 AM
MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (AP) -- Former workers at a processing plant who were caught on tape allegedly kicking, stomping and slamming chickens against a wall will not face criminal charges, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Ginny Conley, head of a state prosecutors' organization, said that while the incident at the Pilgrims Pride plant in Moorefield was disturbing, it does not warrant criminal charges because "these were chickens in a slaughterhouse." The plant serves as a supplier to KFC restaurants.

"It needs to be handled more on a regulatory end than prosecuting someone criminally," she said.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which secretly recorded the alleged torture in July and pressed for the case to be prosecuted, condemned the decision Tuesday and vowed to keep fighting.

"What we documented at this West Virginia KFC supplier is nothing short of sadistic cruelty that warrants the strongest possible condemnation and prosecution," said Bruce Friedrich, director of vegan campaigns for PETA. "Our complaint documents hundreds of instances of felonious cruelty to animals."

Misdemeanor animal cruelty is punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail. Conviction of felony animal cruelty can be punished by one to three years in prison and as much as $5,000 in fines.

Earlier Tuesday, PETA sent letters to West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise and Attorney General Darrell McGraw asking them to help find a prosecutor before the time to file charges has expired.

Fran Hughes, chief deputy attorney general, said her agency lacks the jurisdiction to get involved. A call to Wise's spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride fired 11 employees following the release of the video by PETA last summer and provided animal cruelty training to its work force at its 24 North American plants.

The fired workers told Hardy County prosecutor Lucas See in August that they were expected to hang 28 to 33 live birds per minute and it was faster to toss some of them aside than to wring their necks the proper way.

See stepped down from the case last year because of a possible conflict of interest.

Pilgrim's Pride is among the largest poultry producers in the United States and Mexico, and is a major supplier to KFC, which PETA has targeted in an ongoing animal cruelty campaign.

The Moorefield plant employs 2,300 and supports about 200 poultry farms in West Virginia.


Copyright 2005 The Associated

January 12th, 2005, 12:16 PM
Well personally I have not in many years purchased anything from this disgusting company and will never purchase anything from KFC. This is one of many reports on the abuse these poor chickens suffer and anybody who eats it is eating genetically altered chicken these birds have no beaks so they cannot fight in the cages stuffed with live birds so full they cannot move. The people at their processing plants have been caught on tape numerous times and KFC always comes back with the politcally correct blurb to the papers or new stations that they are going to crackdown on this and these people will be dealt with accordingly. They do not condone this behaviour blah blah blah and they never do a damn thing about it.

January 12th, 2005, 12:18 PM
I hate KFC as it is. I don't eat the stuff, haven't for years. :mad: I affectionately call it "the Dirty Bird"... :yuck:

January 12th, 2005, 12:45 PM
Nope i am not a kfc eater myself,that place is rank................

January 13th, 2005, 09:00 AM
Not to start anything (really, I don't want to), but where does this keep popping up about the de-beaking? I've seen the trucks carrying the chickens, and I used to ride near a processing plant as a kid (where they kept the doors open in the summer and you could see the chickens being processed. I found it very disturbing), and I've never seen a "de-beaked" chicken. And in the video, if I recall correctly, (which I might not), the chickens had beaks.

January 13th, 2005, 09:06 AM
You got me, but the kicking and stomping is enough for me..

January 13th, 2005, 09:16 AM
Sorry, I wasn't trying to argue in favour of anyone, I just wonder about the de-beaking thing. I've become skeptical, like in the eighties when I was in high-school and there was a rumour that McDonald's was growing cows without legs so they wouldn't exercise and get good and fat. (We called it "ground beef")

January 13th, 2005, 09:23 AM
No i didnt think u were.... :thumbs up :thumbs up

January 13th, 2005, 09:25 AM
I once saw a show on it (de-beaking) chickens , And according to the announcer they cut (with things that look like dog nail clippers) the tip of the beak off when they are very young :sad:
They claim it is for thier own safety (They said otherwise they would peck each other do death??) don't know if thats true or not.
It looked very brutal to me, almost like cow branding.

January 13th, 2005, 10:37 AM
It is cruel and inhumane and they would not have pecked each other to death if they were not jammed into cages much too small for them. Bottom line KFC has never before done anything to alleviate the situation and never fired anyone for abuse. I don't care that they are going to be slaughtered but they do not need to be treated any worse than any other animal. (I do care that they get slaughtered) KFC does not give a care in the world about this as long as they are making money selling their vile food besides it tastes disgusting so why buy it. Now you have more of a reason not to.

January 13th, 2005, 10:43 AM
I agree there is no need to cause inhumane suffering to these animals. I am an avid meat eater, but I don't support making an animal suffer for my meal.

January 13th, 2005, 11:01 AM
exactly my friend no animal should suffer for no reason