Freedom Foods fails again

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Freedom Foods fails again

Launched by the RSPCA in 1994, Freedom Foods is the UK equivalent of the BC SPCA’s “SPCA Certified” label, which aims “to provide farm animals with the opportunity to express behaviours that promote physical and psychological well-being.”

Freedom Foods is considered one of the most respected labels when it comes to eating “humane” animal products.  Like similar labels, however, it has shown to be less trustworthy than people like to think; most recently, for example, this February, at a farm for “high-welfare free-range” poultry:

Filming, done through a gap in a wall, showed farm staff swinging ducks by their necks and throwing them at other birds as they are herded into crates to be transported for slaughter.   Images later captured from inside the building showed sick, injured and dead birds. (Farm workers filmed abusing free-range ducks)

This isn’t the first time that a supposedly humane, free-range farm has been proven to be surprisingly similar to conventional factory farms.  It isn’t even the first time for Freedom Foods label.  Back in 2007, undercover investigators in Great Britain discovered something disturbing at  “Freedom Foods”-endorsed farms which boasted “the very highest standards of welfare”: dead and decaying ducks, diseased and injured turkeys, filthy drinking water, pigs lying in wet, soiled conditions with no access to dry, clean straw, and more. (Film shows neglect of pigs, turkeys, and ducks sold under ethical label)

It happened again in 2008, at a free-range egg farm, where thousands of hens lived crammed into the darkness of an enormous shed.  The birds were so cramped that they could barely move; many were undernourished and losing feathers, both signs of stress and overcrowding.   Dead and dying chickens were found as well, decomposing and covered with dust.   Though the birds were supposed to be outside every day by 9 AM, an employee at the farm admitted that he didn’t let them out enough because eggs laid outside got dirty and workers were too “lazy” to clean them.  (‘Freedom Food’ sham exposed)

As I said before, these are not isolated incidents.   Learn more about organic, free-range, and other “humane” animal products at our page: What do all the labels mean? or check out our other blog entries on the subject here.

1 Comment

Isla Kay

May 30, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Wow. Very sad. I’m so glad that my purchases don’t contribute to this kind of abuse.

It’s almost as though farm workers become as disgruntled as the overcrowded animals and start hating the animals just as the animals inevitably hate each other from being forced on each other all day. It’s an unpleasant, unnatural situation for all.

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