Bell & Evans “Humane” Hatchery Baby Birds Ground up Alive

Contact: or 301-891-2458
For immediate release: October 14, 2013

Washington, DC — Today, Compassion Over Killing (COK), a national animal protection charity, released an undercover video exposing cruelties forced upon newly-hatched chicks destined to be raised for their meat. The footage, which includes sick or injured baby birds being dumped into a grinder while still fully conscious, was taken earlier this year by a COK investigator while employed at a hatchery in Belleville, Pennsylvania owned by Bell & Evans.

According to Bell & Evans’ website, its animal welfare standard “insures [sic] all of our chickens are humanely raised and compassionately handled, in a minimal-stress environment, throughout their lives.”  A video posted on the company’s site further explains that in its hatcheries, the newly-hatched “peeps” are “carefully sorted from their shells,” then counted and “placed” in baskets headed for their new “home.”

COK’s investigator, however, witnessed and videotaped a different story. The footage uncovered the painful realities of the hatchery process in which baby birds, just hours old, are treated like mere inanimate objects as they’re moved through a highly mechanized system and violently tossed around by machinery. Chicks who may be sick, injured, or otherwise deemed unfit to be raised for their meat are cast aside and, while still fully conscious, dumped into a grinder.

“No matter how it may be marketed to consumers, this video demonstrates that animal cruelty is standard practice in the chicken industry,” said Erica Meier, Executive Director of Compassion Over Killing. “We can each help prevent animal abuse simply by leaving chickens, and all animals, off our plates.”

For more information, including COK’s investigative footage, visit:


Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a national nonprofit animal protection organization based in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, public outreach, litigation, and other advocacy programs. COK is on the web at