Bob Barker, former Price Is Right host and long-time animal activist, is taking on poultry giant, Foster Farms. The 91-year-old attended a news conference Wednesday to help expose Foster Farms for alleged animal cruelty by making a disturbing undercover video public.
The video, which is narrated by Bob Barker, was taken at a Foster Farms slaughtering plant in Fresno, California and the company’s nearby farms between May and June, the Associated Press reports. It shows workers throwing bins of baby chicks onto the ground causing serious injury, after which some appear unable to move. Live chickens are shown being punched, thrown, and having feathers plucked by workers as they are hung up on slaughter hooks. Bodies of chickens that were said to have missed the “kill blade,” then plunged into scalding water to be boiled alive were also shown.
Warning: Video is graphic and may be disturbing for some viewers.
The video was shot by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals. The organization’s president Nathan Runkle attended the news conference with Bob Barker. He said Foster Farms took no action when an undercover employee reported the abuse.
Runkle and Barker also take aim at the at the American Humane Association, which certifies some of Foster Farms chicken. The organization was founded in 1877 with the mission to “ensure the welfare, wellness and well-being of children and animals.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bob Barker admired and respected the American Humane Association for many years, trusting that they protected innocent animals, saying, “I even had them in my will.” Now, he feels this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I was suddenly made aware of what they really are, and I have absolutely no respect for the American Humane Association. I think they have failed miserably in their efforts to protect animals in the movie industry, and obviously they have failed miserably in any protection for animals in this food industry.”
Runkle claims, “The humane-certified label is little more than a scam. It dupes well-intending consumers into buying meat from factory farmed animals.”
Five employees have been suspended since the video was released. Foster Farms issued the following statement in response to the cruelty allegations.
“Foster Farms has been made aware of an online video showing company employees in Fresno, California, mishandling birds in their care. We have already begun a comprehensive investigation to determine the source and location, including a fully cooperative effort with all appropriate authorities. The behavior of the individuals in this video is inappropriate and counter to our stringent animal welfare standards, procedures and policies.”
“Since its founding in 1939, animal welfare has always has been a top priority for Foster Farms. We believe raising chickens humanely is simply the right thing to do, and we take our commitment to humane values very seriously.”
“Foster Farms employees receive annual training in animal welfare policies and the proper handling of birds in their care. Any employee willfully violating Foster Farms’ animal welfare policies and procedures is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.”
[Image by Amanda Lee Myers/AP Photo)