More Than 6,000 People Agree: Tamworth Regional Council Should Block Factory Farm Expansion
Tamworth – Plans have been submitted to expand an intensive chicken farm in Manilla, near Tamworth, New South Wales. If approved, an additional 776,000 birds will be crammed into another 16 sheds – doubling the size of the existing facility.
In response, more than 6,000 PETA supporters have emailed Tamworth Regional Council with concerns about zoonotic disease outbreaks, odour, water scarcity – and, of course, animal welfare.
PETA’s submission to the council notes that constructing more intensive poultry sheds while Australia continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic is irresponsible. Like COVID-19, bird flu is a zoonotic disease. The Australian poultry industry has experienced several outbreaks of bird flu – one as recently as last year.
Manilla and many other parts of the Tamworth Region have permanent water conservation measures in place. Meanwhile, at full capacity, this proposed facility would use 896,000 litres of water per day.
“Thousands of compassionate people have spoken, and Tamworth Regional Council should heed their concerns for animal welfare, the environment, and the health of the community,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “Building more factory farms at a time when Australians are increasingly taking steps towards eating vegan isn’t a smart long-term investment for Tamworth or the state as a whole.”
In Australia’s chicken meat industry, birds live in filthy sheds, in which extreme crowding frequently leads to outbreaks of disease. They’re bred to grow so large so quickly that many develop leg deformities and suffer from heart attacks and organ failure.
The chickens bred at this facility would be sent to Baiada facilities for slaughter, a company which PETA has exposed for extreme cruelty to chickens. An eyewitness saw Baiada workers crushing chickens’ necks under metal bars and then yanking on their legs. Injured birds were left to die in agony. Workers were also seen punching chickens in the head and bashing them against metal railings. After being run through an electrified water bath, many birds were still fully conscious as their throats were slit with a spinning blade. In all, the eyewitness documented egregious abuse of chickens by at least 21 workers during the course of the investigation.