• Germany's news in English

Poultry producer accused of massive animal abuse

The Local · 12 Jan 2010, 15:09

Published: 12 Jan 2010 14:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Jan 2010 15:09 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Broadcaster ARD’s Report Mainz on Monday night featured secretly filmed footage of a farm in the Lower Saxon city of Twistringen that housed some 25,000 birds in an unlit, cramped space that forced them to exist in their own faeces. Many of the animals died each day due to the poor conditions, the report said.

Other filmed incidents from 2009 provided for the broadcaster by animal rights organisation PETA showed workers from the company’s vaccination subsidiary Hühner kicking and brutally tossing hens and roosters into transport boxes, in addition to breaking their necks without anaesthesia.

Other material showed birds being packed for transport by the necks and thrown from great heights into transport trucks.

Veterinarian Dr. Rupert Ebner told Report Mainz that the birds would have suffered greatly from such treatment.

“Their bones are broken and they are then transported in these containers with broken bones. This is absolutely illegal and very clearly a violation of animal protection laws,” he told the show.

Wiesenhof, which works with more than 800 poultry farmers around the country, distanced itself from the incident in a statement on Monday, calling the birds’ treatment “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Wiesenhof will as a consequence of this isolated case no longer work with the outside firm responsible for the transport of the animals,” the statement said, adding that they would also add unannounced checks of farm facilities by independent firms in addition to current inspection procedures.

In addition, the PHW Group, to which Wiesenhof belongs, plans to file a lawsuit against the responsible farm owner for failing to fulfil his contractual animal protection obligations.

Story continues below…

PETA filed charges against Wiesenhof on Tuesday with state prosecutors in Oldenburg. At a press conference the group’s spokesperson Edmund Haferbeck said the abuses were “no coincidence,” adding that the farm’s treatment of the birds was “representative of an entire branch.”

But in its statement the company said it may also press charges against PETA, which it claimed had “instrumentalised” the farm manager by tolerating, “if not encouraging” the animal abuse for their films.

Wiesenhof was founded in 1965 in Rechterfeld, Lower Saxony and now belongs to the PHW Group. It made a profit of €1.1 billion in 2008.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:44 January 12, 2010 by freechoice
Watch This!!

Food INC!
00:50 January 16, 2010 by Thames
I wonder if they have have illegal immigrants working for them like they do in the US. These corporations not only abuse animals but people as well.

Yes as freechoice says watch Food Inc!
Today's headlines
Anger as Berlin scraps 'Armenia genocide' concert in Turkey
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd