The B.C SPCA is investigating the matter with intent to lay charges against the workers and Elite Farm Services under the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. | Screencap via YouTube/Mercy For Animals

It’s a chicken barn horror story

An animal cruelty case in British Columbia rocks the poultry industry as calls grow for answers and solutions

Disturbing, sadistic, sickening and reprehensible: these are the adjectives used by the Canadian chicken industry and the British Columbia SPCA to describe an undercover video made public June 12 that shows workers abusingchickens. The video was shot by a worker with the Mercy for Animals group at operations in B.C.’s Fraser Valley. It shows chicken […] Read more

Chicken at a poultry processing factory in Lapa city, Parana state, Brazil. Poultry exports are coming into scrutiny as a Brazilian meat inspection scandal widens. |  REUTERS/Rodolfo Buhrer photo

Scandal rocks Brazil meat sector; China, S. Korea suspend imports

SAO PAULO/BEIJING (Reuters) — Fallout from a corruption scandal in Brazil’s massive meat industry spread this week with China and South Korea suspending some imports and the European Union mulling action, hitting shares of the world biggest poultry producer BRF SA. With other suspensions expected to follow, the Brazilian police operation codenamed Weak Flesh could […] Read more

Karen and Daniel Hoeberichts, owners of Orchard Eggs in England, use laser beam technology rather than expensive netting to protect their hens from wild birds.  |  Chris McCullough photo

Laser beams quiet and efficient at scaring wild birds away

An organic egg farm in England has set up a novel method of protecting its hens from bird flu allowing them to stay outdoors. Orchard Eggs based in West Sussex is using the latest laser technology from a Dutch company to scare off wild migratory birds and prevent them mixing with the farm’s chickens. The […] Read more

 About 93 percent of North American households have eggs at any given time.  |  File photo

No shell, no problem: eggs find new niche

BANFF, Alta. — Eggs are a common food but new processes are adding value in unusual ways. “Eggs are ubiquitous,” said Jonathan Merkle, chief science officer for the egg processing company Michael Foods, a $2.5-billion-a-year company that has its own farms and processing companies in the United States. It is estimated that 93 percent of […] Read more

A University of California Davis study from last year indicated that cage free isn’t better than cages. Researchers looked at free-run and enriched cages and concluded each system has negatives and positives.
 | File photo

Does ‘cage-free’ really lead to better animal welfare?

Farm group releases draft code of practice for laying hens amid conflicting studies about what’s best for animal health

Jackie Wepruk was trying to be tactful, but her body language said otherwise. Wepruk twisted her body and tightened her mouth as she used the words “cage free,” as if it pained her to utter the phrase. Wepruk is general manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council, a group with a diverse array of […] Read more

Donna Cromarty’s Icelandic chickens sun themselves on a bench they sometimes share with her on the farm near Twin Butte, Alta.  |  Barb Glen photo

It’s an exotic life

TWIN BUTTE, Alta. — There’s a wooden bench beside a small stream and tiny pond in Donna Cromarty’s chicken run. Some folks might be inclined to sit there and admire the green foothills and imposing blue Rocky Mountains a scant distance away from that perch. Cromarty sits there to watch her chickens. And sometimes the […] Read more

Requirements have been changed for lighting but the rules for bird densities in free-run barns like this one are unchanged.  |  File photo

Lights out for better bird health

Changes to lighting requirements in chicken and turkey barns are among the most significant updates to the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys, says a chicken farmer who helped update the code. Vernon Froese of Manitoba was chair of the code development committee, which posted the […] Read more

Major players in Canadian retail, including Walmart, Loblaws and Sobeys, today committed to purchase cage-free eggs by the end of 2025. | File photo

Retailers commit to cage-free eggs by 2025

The era of keeping hens in cages may be coming to an end. Major players in Canadian retail, including Walmart, Loblaws and Sobeys, today committed to purchase cage-free eggs by the end of 2025. The Retail Council of Canada’s grocery members have considered adopting a cage-free policy for a while. “There have been significant discussions […] Read more

Researchers are looking at cranberry extract as an alternative to antimicrobial drugs used by poultry producers.  |  File photo

Cranberries seen to boost immunity in chickens

DRESDEN, Ont. — Most people know cranberries go with Christmas dinner. Now, an Agriculture Canada researcher has found that the tart fruit boosts immunity when fed to young birds. Mortality was decreased 50 percent when Moussa S. Diarra and his research team fed small amounts of cranberry extract to broiler chickens during their first 10 […] Read more

Corne Mans, left, adjusts the egg grading machine at Galimax Trading Inc. while Crystal VanEssen and Bunyong Pholphasook continue their work.  |  Barb Glen photo

Company runs ‘afowl’ of egg producers group

Alberta firm specializes in collecting eggs from small producers, but Egg Farmers of Alberta says rules not followed

NOBLEFORD, Alta. — Eggs supplied by 26 farmers move efficiently through the washing and grading process at Galimax Trading Inc. From there, the company distributes them on the producers’ behalf to restaurants in the Calgary area. How much longer that will occur is open to question because of an ongoing clash between Galimax and Egg […] Read more