Exposing the reality behind Japan's chicken meat production: internal survey published

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50days cover (50 days of Mei the broiler) Chicks who are too small or dying get trashed. Mei the chicken is an intelligent individual. The rearing density in Japan is extreme. Day 49. Chicks too small get trashed among carcasses. Animal Rights Center Japan
Website documenting the 50 days of a broiler chicken:
50days.jp

TOKYO, Japan - Marylandian -- Animal Rights Center Japan has exposed the hidden reality behind Japan's broiler poultry farming for the first time, and has published the "50DAYS" website to inform the consumers, compiling videos and reports following the 50-day life of a broiler chicken from August 18 to October 7, 2020.  Today is the final day, when all 50 days of their lives have been revealed.

Videos and photos for the press (please use freely for the purpose of reporting)
https://50days.jp/media/

The world viewed by Mei the broiler

"Mei, a baby chicken, was born at a hatchery and was trucked to a farm.  Mei and her mates were roughly tossed to the floor of the poultry shack.  This was the day they were born.

Employees make rounds through the shack daily looking for carcasses and weakened chicks.  Sometimes employees step on them.  Internal organs would pop out from the buttocks and they flap their wings and crawl away.  Dragging their damaged internal organs, they die."

Daily report on their lives for 50 days till slaughter

The source and intent of the internal survey

Information within 50DAYS is all factual.  It is based on a detailed report from a former employee who worked at a poultry farm in Japan.  This individual and we believe that knowing the truth is the first step toward a solution.  This survey is not intended to criticize a single farm or company, and neither the farm nor the informant is identified.  This is because what is shown here are breeding densities and methods typical within Japan.

Problems with economic use of animals

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The reality behind chicken meat production in Japan had not been revealed before.  Now that it has been exposed, the hope is that the viewers realize that our consumption behavior, and the production methods, must be improved.

The former employee who has seen the suffering of the chickens first-hand says, "After all, as long as this poultry system exists, the problem will not be solved."

Those who work in poultry farms are not the bad people.  However, when a single person tries to manage tens of thousands of chicks at a price of US$5 per bird, the conditions will necessarily be terrible.  In fact, an employee said, "During the limited working hours, no matter how careful I was, I couldn't move forward without kicking the chicks."  Chicks who have been selectively bred to grow rapidly will suffer and die in any condition.

Such a system of poultry is currently allowed because of the discriminatory preconception that chickens are ok to torture…

• Accelerate the transition to alternative meat

The one who funded the first cultured meat (clean meat) produced in the world was Google's co-founder Sergey Brin.  The reason he invested in clean meat was for animal welfare.  The world is now beginning to transition from animal-based protein to plant-based protein.  Japanese meat and food companies are also following the lead.

• Better Chicken initiative: progress overseas while Japan stalls

The breeding environment in Japan is clearly inferior compared to Europe, the US, Brazil, or Thailand.  The average breeding density of broilers in Japan is 50-56 kg/㎡ (50-56 kg worth of chicks per ㎡).  Broilers in Europe/USA are slaughtered when they reach 2 kg after 42 days, while broilers in Japan are slaughtered at 3 kg after 50 days.  This 8-day difference is significant; they would spend the final days in overcrowdedness, on filthy ground, and with worsening physical abnormalities.

In Europe and America, already 345 companies have made the "Better Chicken commitment", promising to reduce the breeding density to 30 kg/㎡, switch to slow-growing species, provide enrichment like perches and pecking materials, and adopt gas stunning for slaughter.  They are to switch by 2026, while in Japan there is no prospect for improvement.  This is not just an animal issue however.

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• Deep connection to drug-resistant bacteria

Animal welfare is directly linked to the prevention of the outbreak of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. On 25 October 2018, the EU made a resolution on "Animal welfare, antimicrobial use and the environmental impact of industrial broiler farming", concluding that animal welfare itself will lead to the prevention of drug-resistant bacteria.

A survey by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has shown that Japanese chicken has a higher detection rate of drug-resistant bacteria than imported chicken.  The situation has reached the point where drug-resistant bacteria are detected in over half of the Japanese chicken sold on the market.

With 10 million people expected to die from drug-resistant bacteria by 2050, improving farm animal welfare and raising animals in environments where they can maintain their own immunity is essential for the sustainability of society.  However, the Japanese government does not recognize the connection between farm animal welfare and drug-resistant bacteria.

• Demanding improvements in broiler poultry

We demand that broiler poultry that forces such cruel rearing and continues severe selective breeding be ended as soon as possible, that companies shift to alternative meat, and at the same time rapidly shift to Better Chicken that accounts for animal welfare.

Although not completely at the level of Better Chicken, Japan's "jidori" chicken is one of our recommendations because of its regulation on the breeding density.

This campaign lasted 50 days.  Someone who watched their short lives said, "I wished they could be put to death soon."  However, 695 million chicks under similar captivity are born and killed every year in Japan.

We sincerely hope that their situations get improved as soon as possible.

Endorsing organizations:
Albert Schweitzer Foundation, Animal Equality, Djurens Rätt, EAST Taiwan, L214

Contact
Chihiro Okada (Director)
okada@arcj.org
+81-3-3770-0720


Source: Animal Rights Center Japan
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Filed Under: Education, Health

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