From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2005:
LONDON–Examining the carcasses of 384 broiler hens raised
according to the British Farm Standard and offered for sale on
supermarket shelves, an investigation commissioned by the Royal SPCA
and directed by Cambridge University professor Donald Broom reported
in July 2005 that 82% had been burned on their legs or bodies by
prolonged contact with ammonia from feces.
“Lack of space and fast-growing bodies that can become too
heavy to be supported by their legs increases the likelihood of birds
receiving painful burns, as the birds spend more time in contact
with floor litter,” said RSPCA scientific officer Marc Cooper.
Among 25 organically raised free range chickens whose
carcasses were inspected, 42% had burns, the researchers found.
The RSPCA findings were released five weeks after the BBC
Programme Com-plaints Unit upheld a British Poultry Council complaint
that the BBC “Food Police Programme” showed bias against the poultry
industry in a 2004 expose of ammonia burns.
“The use of surreptitiously filmed material and reference to
Compassion In World Farming campaign efforts did not of themselves
give rise to bias” the Complaints Unit said, “but, together with
other features of the item, they implied criticisms of the
poultry-rearing industry which there should have been an opportunity