PETA on Poultry Slaughter Practices

The Tahlequah Daily Press recently ran a lengthy, thorough look at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ recent complaints about the poultry industry along with responses from poultry industry representatives and other researchers countering PETA’s claims.

Bruce Friedrich told the Daily Press that, “Chickens are probably the most abused animals on the face of the planet.” PETA wants an end to he standard way most chickens are killed — they are exposed to a stun bath (water with electricity running through it) to knock them out. The birds than have their throats slit by an automated machine with a human being killing any chickens that escape the machine. The chickens are then dumped into scalding hot water to cause the feathers and body to begin to separate. PETA maintains that as many as two-thirds of the chickens killed this way are not properly stunned when immersed into the water, and want the industry to expose the chickens to lethal doses of gas instead.

The poultry industry counters that this would be too expensive and that the current process is humane.

Kansas State University professor Janice Swanson expresses a view common among industry and researchers — the activists have their minds made up and so simply ignore research that contradicts their views. Discussing research about optimal cage sizes, Swanson said,

They [animal rights activists] already made the decision that cages are all bad, so any increase to the space in a cage is not going to please special advocacy groups.

Friedrich responds that research into cage sizes is “laughable,” adding that,

Chickens should be glad to be chickens. They’re intelligent, interesting animal who have as much rights as a dog or cat to breathe fresh air, form relationships and do the things that animals want to do.


Animal rights activists not happy with poultry industry. Eddie Glenn, Tahlequah Daily Press, March 28, 2003.

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