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Graphic Undercover Video Shows Foster Farms Workers Abusing Chickens

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Foster Farms has suspended five workers after video was released showing chickens being punched and scalded alive in one of their factories.

The animal rights group Mercy for Animals released the extremely graphic video today, which shows hidden camera footage from within Foster Farms' processing factories and farms in Fresno County. The video shows live chickens being punched and thrown by workers, and in one clip a worker yanks feathers off a live chicken. Footage from the farm shows crowded conditions where birds are sometimes inadvertently run over by vehicles and chicks are quickly thrown out of bins, leading to injuries in some cases.

"For over thirty years I've been an advocate for the human treatment of all animals," says former The Price Is Right host Bob Barker, who narrates the video. "Which is why i am so outraged that the American Human Association is putting its seal of approval on meat from animals who were subjected to miserable lives and painful deaths."

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The American Humane Association has gives Foster Farms' chicken meat the "American Human Certified" label.

In response to the video, Foster Farms has suspended five workers and is cooperating with an investigation by the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, according to the L.A. Times. "It is Foster Farms' policy to take disciplinary action against animal welfare violations up to and including termination of employees. Foster Farms is reinforcing animal welfare training companywide and in its plants," the company said in a written statement.

A spokesman for the American Human Association says the video is "surprising" and that Foster Farms has never failed an audit in the three years.

Mercy for Animals put together the footage from hours of video taken by two investigators who worked at the plants in March and April. Although only three minutes long, the West Hollywood-based group says it's a snapshot of "criminal animal cruelty that was permitted to go unchecked and uncorrected by Foster Farms management."