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Investigation: Disturbing Practices and Violations Exposed at Halal Slaughterhouse

Incidents involving birds lifting their heads to avoid the stun bath were documented. Yet birds were processed regardless, their throats cut before being scalded while potentially still fully conscious.

LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS (LCA): ‘LCA conducted an undercover investigation into Sheik Halal Farms Inc. (Sheik Halal), a provincially licensed meat plant in Ontario over the course of four months in 2017 and 2018. The facility slaughters and processes chickens, ducks, goats, lambs, and sheep. Incidents of apparent animal abuse, disturbing practices, and possible violations of food handling safety procedures were documented during LCA’s undercover investigation.

LCA’s investigator documented chickens being subjected to repeated incidences of undue suffering, avoidable pain, and distress. Chickens lifted their heads to avoid being stunned, possibly leaving them still conscious, and resulting in the rhythmic flapping of their wings during the slaughter process. Transport crates were roughly handled and were seen being walked on by workers.

Crowded crates were unloaded at sharp angles, seemingly causing injury to birds’ wings, beaks, feet, and feathers sticking out of crates that resulted in blood on the outside of crates. Crates, with openings on both top and bottom and many in disrepair, allowed chickens to escape and resulted in chickens caked in fecal matter, urine, and/or blood being moved straight from transportation onto the meat processing line creating a possible threat to food safety.

It was not uncommon to find birds had succumbed to their injuries before arrival. Many birds were witnessed arriving with foot growths that looked like ‘bumblefoot,’ a bacterial infection common to caged birds living in filthy conditions. Many of the birds with injuries and growths were put on the processing line.

LCA was unable to find any organization that certified Sheik Halal before May 2018. During the course of LCA’s investigation, Sheik Halal may not have been a certified Halal producer — yet they processed and sold products as Halal. Incidents involving birds lifting their heads to avoid the stun bath altogether were documented. On one occasion, it was discovered the stun bath wasn’t on at all, yet birds were processed regardless, their throats cut before being scalded while potentially still fully conscious…

Ontario provincial regulations require the operator of a slaughter plant to ensure no food animal is kept or handled in a manner that causes avoidable pain or distress and requires no one load or unload food animals at the plant in a way that causes them undue suffering or injury… In September 2018, LCA filed two formal complaints… LCA is calling for further investigation and charges to be laid against Sheik Halal Farms’. SOURCE…

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