Feet Torn Off and Then Boiled Alive: Australia’s Free-Range Cruelty Sham

Posted on by PETA Australia

It’s difficult to imagine the pain of your feet being torn off because you’ve been violently shackled upside down and then of being boiled alive. Yet that is what’s happening to hens at the Star Poultry Supply abattoir in the Melbourne suburb of Keysborough.

The free-range hens in the new video footage from the Australian egg industry shown on ABC’s programme 7.30 are just 18 months old, but they’re already considered “spent” by the industry that exploits and then kills them.

No Serious Action Taken by Authorities

This video was secretly recorded earlier in the year by animal rights campaigner Tamara Kenneally and some of her friends. They immediately gave it to Victoria’s abattoir regulator.

A news report said that the regulator then “investigated and referred the footage to Agriculture Victoria, which is responsible for enforcing the state’s animal cruelty laws. . . . Agriculture Victoria said authorised officers spoke to the company’s management, but did not initiate a formal animal cruelty investigation”.

There Is No Humane Way to Use and Kill Healthy Animals

Chickens are arguably the most abused animals on Earth. More of them are raised and killed for food than all other land animals combined. In addition to the usual animal-welfare concerns, there is currently no means of enforcing any voluntary codes of practice related to the labelling of meat and eggs that come from chickens – which makes it impossible for consumers to know how their “free-range” or “barn-laid” eggs were really produced and what will happen to the animals who laid them.


Because male chicks are unable to lay eggs and are not bred to produce the excessive flesh desired by the meat industry, they’re gassed to death with carbon dioxide or ground up while they’re still alive immediately after hatching. Females follow their mothers in enduring short and miserable lives. After their bodies are worn out and their egg production drops, they’re transported to slaughter, generally to be turned into low-grade meat for chicken stock or cat or dog food, because their flesh is too bruised and battered to be used for much else. It’s common for them to sustain broken wings and legs from rough handling, and many die from the stress of the journey.

As seen in the above video, at the abattoir, their legs are forced into shackles, their throats are cut, and they’re plunged into scalding-hot water to remove their feathers. Because of the automated slaughter lines, many are still conscious when their throats are cut, and others die from being boiled alive.

Don’t buy into the “free-range” sham. All eggs are the product of a violent, bloody industry. Order your free vegan starter kit for tips and recipes to assist you in choosing cruelty-free foods from now on:

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