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Hy-Line Issues Statement over Welfare Issue

by 5m Editor
1 September 2009, at 4:10pm

US - On 31 August, Hy-Line issued a statement regarding a recent welfare issue at one of its hatcheries.

Hy-Line International and Hy-Line North America, LLC's number one priority is the care and safety of our birds and our employees. The company says it has well-defined policies and procedures regarding poultry welfare and we are committed to meeting or exceeding all industry standards, including the Animal Welfare Guidelines of the United Egg Producers (UEP). It provides regular training to our employees on our animal welfare practices and policies. This training includes an explanation of disciplinary actions should these policies be contravened.

On 31 August, Hy-Line International and Hy-Line North America, LLC were made aware of a video produced by a vegan animal rights group that presumes to show procedures at our Spencer Iowa hatchery. The video, taken in late May/early June according to the group's documentation, appears to show an inappropriate action and violation of the company's animal welfare policies. It has initiated an immediate investigation of the entire situation, although it would have been more beneficial had Hy-Line been aware of the potential violation immediately after it occurred. Following an investigation, if any violation of our animal welfare policies is found, the employee or employees involved will be disciplined per company policy, up to and including termination.

Other hatchery procedures are shown in the video. These procedures are supported and approved by the animal veterinary and scientific community. Instantaneous euthanasia by maceration is specifically supported by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Federation of Animal Science Societies, Agriculture Canada, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and European Union (EU).

The company says it continually monitors daily hatchery procedures and provides on-going training to all hatchery staff that emphasises the importance of animal welfare and following company policies.