PETA Attempts to Mislead Public with Outdated Video on Chicken Production

WASHINGTON, DC, January 07, 2003 – PETA is attempting to mislead the public with an outdated and questionable video on chicken production, the National Chicken Council said today. “The beak-trimming machine shown in the PETA video is a ‘Lyons’ model used about 30 years ago. The system shown is no longer in common use in our industry,” said Richard Lobb, a spokesperson for the National Chicken Council. “PETA’s attempt to portray this outdated method as today’s standard practice is false and misleading.”

PETA spokesperson Bruce Friedrich insisted that all the video was shot within “the last year and a half.” In fact, other portions of the video were taken directly from another video that bears a copyright date of 1997, and the actual date when the video footage was shot was not disclosed even then.

“PETA’s false statements about the age of the video obviously beg the question of whether there are other elements in the PETA campaign that are false or out of date,” Lobb added.

A proper concern for animal welfare is already well established in the broiler chicken industry. High-quality food can be made only from high-quality animals that have been properly cared for, Lobb said.

Beak trimming is never performed on broilers — animals sold for their meat. When done, it is conducted on day-old male birds in the breeder flock in order to prevent injury to other birds as roosters become aggressive with maturity. Only the sharp tip of the beak is removed, not a large portion as shown in the outdated PETA video. Precision laser technology is rapidly replacing blade systems.

“PETA’s objective is not to improve animal welfare but to eliminate meat, poultry and other food of animal origin altogether from the human diet. They desire a totally vegan society and will say or do anything to achieve this objective. PETA even approves of the use of violence,” said Lobb. As Bruce Friedrich, PETA vegan campaign coordinator, has said:

“(If) these animals do have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then of course we are going to be, as a movement, blowing stuff up, and smashing windows. For the record, I don’t do this stuff, but I do advocate it. I think it’s a great way to bring about animal liberation. And considering the level of the atrocity and the level of the suffering, I think it would be a great thing if, you know, all of these fast-food outlets and these slaughterhouses and these laboratories and the banks that fund them, exploded tomorrow. I think it’s perfectly appropriate (applause) and I think it’s perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows and, you know, everything else along the line. Alleluia to the people who are willing to do it.”

Bruce Friedrich, PETA Vegetarian Campaign Coordinator, at Animal Rights 2001 National Conference in McLean, Va., July 2, 2001

Transcribed from a recording available at

PETA has also donated funds to the Earth Liberation Front, which then-FBI Director Louis J. Freeh identified to Congress in 2001 as a group responsible for terrorist acts. Among other crimes, ELF claimed responsibility for the destruction by arson of the Urban Horticulture Center at the University of Washington in 2001.

PETA’s campaigns must be seen in light of its willingness to bend or totally ignore the truth in pursuit of its objectives.

Broiler companies, as noted, take good care of their animals. In order to assure its customers that high standards of animal welfare are kept, the National Chicken Council has been working in a responsible process with its scientific advisors and with the Food Marketing Institute and National Council of Chain Restaurants to finalize a set of animal welfare standards. These reflect sound industry practice and the findings of scientific research. Consumers can have confidence that chickens are properly cared for.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.


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