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Doug Hall Farms – Investigation of Depopulation
Undercover Cruelty Investigation – Doug Hall Farms – ‘Malandii Poultry’ Gore Highway, Millmerran
In November 2001, AAQ witnessed the 'depopulation' of Hall's Battery Hen Farm.
Hall's Battery Hen Farm Depopulation
A worker from Milandii Poultry informed Animal Liberation NSW of a depopulation of the battery shed. She also stated that: “the sheds are full of lice, dead hens are thrown over a fence to rot in a paddock – creating danger for grazing animals. She claims legal stocking rate is 5 per cage but says she has seen as many as 10 hens per cage, there are heaps of sick dying hens and high death rates which are concealed by falsification of records, intimidation of staff who attempt to record death rates on a black board. She claims that 1 in 5 deaths is entered into the computer and that inspectors of Department of Primary Industry collude in concealing the true state of affairs. “ (Letter sent to Animal Liberation NSW). Activists filmed the ‘spent’ battery hens being carried by their legs in bunches to a waiting truck where the hens were handed to another worker who aggressively through the birds into small sized cages – the hens were smashed at full force against the wire cages – which had to result in massive injury, pain and/or death. A senior person present did not appear to be concerned with the violent work practice. A worker was seen to punch a cage with hens in it as he walked past. This display of violence is completely unacceptable and would not be tolerated by the public or RSPCA in a public forum. According to the Code of Practice this treatment by the farm employees contravenes at least points 16.4 & 16.5 in relation to appropriate cages and handling.
An interview was held for Channel 10 news about the investigation and the depopulation. The report showed video footage of both investigations and also included a statement by Henry Palaszczuk, DPI – “they have a program and plan to phase out battery cage system”.
Byron Hall, RSPCA stated that: ‘The RSPCA opposes battery cages.’ And that despite the evidence provided ‘”the shed meets every welfare condition” RSPCA ordered a change to workers handling methods.’