Graphic video shows live chicks poured into grinder

  • 19/07/2016

Warning: The video above contains footage that may disturb some people.

An animal rights charity in Australia has released a disturbing video showing the distressing plight of recently-hatched chickens in the country's egg industry.

The video, produced by Animal Liberation NSW and Aussie Farms, shows male chicks placed on a conveyor belt and falling into a high-powered grinder, where the chicks' bodies are macerated in an instant.

The charity says the 12 million male chicks produced in the country annually are seen as "useless" and "waste products" as they are unable to lay eggs, and thus reap no financial benefits.

However it's not just the males that are forced to suffer through far from ideal conditions - with deformed or abnormal females also grinded and the others undergoing a painful debeaking process, with many being sent to cages.

The organisation stresses that both caged and free-range egg companies use the maceration method to dispose of male chicks.

A number of animal rights groups have called the maceration of male chicks "animal cruelty", and say hatcheries should adopt new technology which would allow them to identify the gender of the chickens before they've hatched.

In June, United Egg Producers - a major hatchery in the United States - promised to halt grinding of male chicks en masse by 2020, or when it became "economically feasible" to do so.

They said as soon as there was an alternative, more humane method "commercially available", they would adopt it.

Animal Liberation NSW says "the most effective thing you can do" to ensure such practices are brought to a conclusion is to "stop eating eggs and encourage others to do the same".