The Humane Society of the United States is claiming that Butterfield Foods, a Minnesota processor of spent hens, is the latest company targeted in an undercover video surveillance. The animal rights group alleges that many birds were ineffectively stunned before being killed, while others were still alive while being put into a tank of scalding water used in the de-feathering process, said Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s vice president of farm animal protection.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that HSUS filed a complaint against Butterfield with the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office, alleging violations of Minnesota’s animal cruelty law.
Terry Fruth, an attorney representing Butterfield, said the company adheres to standards for humane slaughter, and that on-site company and government observers ensure that.
“There are industry guidelines, and we are in compliance with all of them,” Fruth said. “There are government rules, and we follow them.”