Mercy for Animals Canada, a branch of the California-based animal rights group, has released a video taken at two farms in Alberta, Canada, that shows chickens living in inhumane conditions. Burnbrae Farms, which supplies eggs to grocery store chains and McDonald’s restaurants in Canada, has suspended purchases from the farms, calling the footage “disturbing and unacceptable.”

"Burnbrae Farms does not tolerate animal abuse, and we have suspended the purchase of eggs from the farms depicted in the video pending full investigation," the company said, reports CBC News. "Burnbrae Farms is committed to treating all of our hens in a safe and humane manner and we expect all of our suppliers to do the same."

The video, filmed last summer at Ku-Ku Farms in Morinville and Creekside Grove Farms in Spruce Grove shows thousands of chickens crammed into filthy wire battery cages, in some instances with dead hens left lying next to them. 

Workers on the farms can be seen using a method called "thumping" to kill sick or injured chickens, smashing the birds against a hard surface. Some birds that survive the ordeal are left in garbage bags together with a pile of already dead chicks.

An investigator with Mercy for Animals Canada, the local wing of the California-based animal rights group, secretly shot the footage while employed as a farm worker at the two farms, which are about 35 km north and west of Edmonton, respectively.

Mercy for Animals targeted McDonald’s in a release discussing the video, calling Burnbrae the exclusive provider of eggs for Egg McMuffins.

"Every Egg McMuffin represents misery and deprivation for a hen who is crammed into a cage so small she can't even spread her wings or walk," it said in a news release.

Burnbrae Farms noted in a letter to McDonald’s that none of the eggs the company purchased from the farms were sold to the chain.

Source: CBC News