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Power cut leaves 117,000 chickens to suffocate in factory farm

The Local · 16 Aug 2011, 10:43

Published: 16 Aug 2011 10:43 GMT+02:00

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Investigators are looking to see whether the farm just north of Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt had sufficient emergency generators to ensure the chickens were guaranteed enough air – and why they did not switch on.

Electricity company E.on said that thunderstorms probably caused disruptions in its Haldensleben transformer station on Saturday.

This caused the ventilation system in six different halls of the Bülstringen factory to shut down, killing the chickens, police in Haldensleben reported.

While damages were estimated at €350,000, police have ruled out a deliberate criminal act.

Factory inspectors and animal health authorities were called, who also inspected the farm – and removed the dead birds. Police said diseases, such as avian influenza, were not involved.

A police spokesman told the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung there was a generator at the site, but it had not been activated when the power to the main supply was cut.

The chickens would only have survived around 30 minutes without ventilation.

Story continues below…

“Apparently the security system in the business failed. I don’t understand how, in such a large barn, there was visibly no emergency service and also no alarm system,” said Annette Leipelt, executive director of the Nabu bird conservation charity in Saxony-Anhalt.

DPA/The Local/emh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:48 August 16, 2011 by LecteurX
This sad story gives us an idea of the chickens' welfare in these industrial compounds...
12:36 August 16, 2011 by dcgi
Multiple failures caused thousands of chickens to die inhumanly they shouldn't get any insurance money as a result, seriously people don't f**k about when buying chicken meat/eggs, buy the best you can afford, it tastes better and you know the chicken hasn't been treated badly.
12:50 August 16, 2011 by marimay
Disgusting. This never would have happened had they been free-range.

I was already considering not buying chicken here anymore because of the extreme water injections added to the chickens here. I have never seen so much water added to chicken before. Not even in the US.

I can't wait til i have some property so i can raise my own chickens. I am so tired of this greed and disrespect for where food comes from.
13:44 August 16, 2011 by HistoryProffessor
Ok, yes, sad all of these chickens died. but realistically they were all going to get the big cbopper anyway werent they?

It didnt say if it was an egg farm or a meat farm. I am assuming that they were being raised to kill.

Either way. This complany purchased its live stock which makes the birds and asset. When an asset is destroyed that person is entitled to their insurance claim as long as its covered. Also one shouldnt be so concerned with how another person treats their own property. I could go to the store and buy 100 glass bowls, and sit in my house and throw each one on the ground and break them. No one is going to get on to me for it.

Ranchers and people who raise chickens should be afforded the same time of privacy I would in my own home. Property is property, who cares what you do with it.

Lastly, Marimay and DCGI, free range is definitely the way to go. it tastes way better and is much healthier. I am a fellow free range supporter.
15:51 August 16, 2011 by Gretl
@historyprofessor - "Property is property, who cares what you do with it."

I think the same arguement was made about slavery.

I disagree, even if you dismiss inhumane treatment of animals on its own sake (leaving a dog tied up in the summer heat without food or water, penning up hooved animals in unclean pens until their feet rot, mindlessly overheating chickens because you've penned too many in a building), then think of the stress hormones released by the animal due to the mistreatment, and how stress hormones cause weight gain in humans. Coincidence? How many other health issues may be related to poor treatment of feed animals? E. coli infections, antibiotic resistance, etc. Good animal husbandry = good health.
00:03 August 17, 2011 by farmon
@ HistoryProfessor

If the picture is correct, they are meat chickens. Probably a cornish cross chicken that goes to market in 6 weeks or less. And Gretl, that is the same way they are raised in the US and worldwide. I don't like the way they are raised either, so that's why I raise my own. It had to be a complete accident especially with so much money at stake.
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