US broiler investigation 2012
Our investigation into US chicken farming in the state of Georgia
Warning: some scenes may be distressing
Compassion in World Farming’s Investigation Unit has been on assignment in Georgia, USA to get the inside track on the USA’s biggest factory farming operation – the chicken industry.
Supporting Compassion’s new USA office and its work with the Georgians for Pastured Poultry (GPP) campaign, we were tasked with conducting a special investigation that examined the hotspots of intensive production in the state, the implications for animal welfare and the wider impacts intensive chicken farming is having on the environment and human health.
We found evidence that chickens are suffering in ‘super sized’ sheds that are bigger than American football fields. We met with workers whose sole job is to clear out the dead. We also spoke with experts concerned about the size and scale of this operation in Georgia, which makes it easily the biggest producer of chickens in the USA.
For the urban Georgian, it’s not obvious that Georgia is home to this massive industry, but hit the road to the north of the state, gaze at the rolling landscape and you might just glimpse the top of a shed or a feed bin, which more often than not will be the start of a mega farm, with countless sheds, housing as many as 300,000 chickens.
As we discovered during our journey, this is an industry that likes to be out of sight and out of mind.
EyewitnessRead an ‘in the field’ account from a Compassion investigator
Find out more
- Download the accompanying report Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Impacts of chicken meat factory farming in the State of Georgia, produced by CIWF USA for Georgians for Pastured Poultry (GPP).
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Investigations: our code of conduct
All Compassion investigators follow a code of conduct.
Every year, over 50 billion chickens are reared worldwide, mostly en masse in windowless, barren and overcrowded sheds.
About chickens farmed for meat
Chickens farmed for meat are called broiler chickens.