Wednesday 3 August 2022 01:24 PM Millions of factory farm chickens died in sweltering 45C sheds during record UK ... trends now
Millions of factory farm chickens died during the recent country-wide heatwave, according to whistle-blowers.
The birds, which were confined to large farm sheds, died of heat exhaustion in temperatures of up to 45C, it has been alleged by industry whistle-blowers who say little was done to protect them from the heat.
Some producers made little to no effort to cool down the sheds for the animal's welfare, according to the Independent.
Witnesses have claimed that the birds were panting and flapping in the heat which was even higher than usual due to the large amount of bird excrement as a result of diarrhoea, a warning of heat distress in chickens.
The birds, which were confined to large farm sheds, died of heat exhaustion in temperatures of up to 45C (Stock Image)
Anonymous insiders have said they are haunted by the scale and smell of the dead bodies of chickens that died.
One said: 'I often find that I suddenly start crying and shaking.'
Other insiders claim the birds were 'left to die in the heat' and 'written off' as a cost instead of investing prevention measures, such as better ventilation in the industrial sheds.
In a written statement, Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council (BPC) said: 'Unfortunately extreme temperatures have led to very high mortality events in some poultry flocks.
'Industry have worked closely with Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and other government agencies to support farmers at this devastating time and establish how farms can be quickly cleared and birds safely disposed of.
'Mitigating measures exist to maintain the health and welfare of birds. As is the case for other industries, we are urging all poultry keepers to advance these measures to cope with extraordinary weather conditions in the longer term.'
The scale of the deaths has prompted an investigation by the Animal and Plant Health Agency and local government.
A spokesperson for Defra has said it is 'deeply concerned' about the recent events.
'It is vital the health and welfare of animals are protected,' they added.
'The Animal and Plant Health Agency is working to support local authorities in investigating what took place and in taking any appropriate further action.'
Thousands of birds died inside corrugated iron sheds on Moy Park farm in Newton on Trent, Lincolnshire in July 2019 as temperatures reached 38.7C (101F)
The incident is not the first of its kind, with similar reports of bird deaths emerging during a heatwave in 2019 (Pictured Moy Park Farm in Newton on Trent)
Searing heat in Britain in July saw temperatures push past