Animal rights group releases “hidden-camera” footage that reveals cruelty in Kentucky poultry farms

Mercy For Animals released the bombshell footage in opposition to the Republican-sponsored Senate Bill 16

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published April 2, 2024 12:35PM (EDT)

Chickens gathered for water. (Edwin Remsberg/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Chickens gathered for water. (Edwin Remsberg/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

On Monday, an animal rights group released footage from a “hidden-camera investigation,” alleging Kentucky poultry factory farms of cruel treatment of chickens. Footage from the investigation was released in opposition to a so-called anti-animal rights bill recently approved by the Kentucky legislature, the group said.

Mercy For Animals — a California-based nonprofit that seeks to “end industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system” — published a video in which workers are seen kicking, stepping, throwing and stuffing chickens into cages for transport. In a separate video shared with the Kentucky Lantern, the group appears to show and locate the poultry houses, which they described as contract farms. The farms provide chickens to Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the largest chicken producers in the United States.

Mercy For Animals is protesting Senate Bill 16, which aims to criminalize the use of any recording equipment (drones, cameras, video recorders, audio recorders etc.) inside concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and commercial food processing and manufacturing plants without consent from the operation's owner. The bill would also criminalize the distribution of such footage at food processing plants or CAFOs. However, it does make exceptions for utility workers along with state and federal law enforcement and regulators.

Critics of the bill have blasted SB 16 as “dangerous legislation” that fails to penalize mass corporations for their cruel treatment of animals, workers and consumers.