Perdue Investigating Alleged Animal Abuse at One of Our Contract Farms
Salisbury, Md. (Wednesday, December 9, 2015)
Last night, Perdue learned that an employee of a contract farmer raising chickens for us in Richmond County, N.C., was arrested on animal abuse charges. The charges stem from an undercover video presented to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office by an attorney representing an animal rights organization.
We have not seen the video. Nonetheless, we are very troubled that it was sufficient to prompt the Sheriff’s Office to arrest the individual. We are working with our grower and the Richmond County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office to better understand the situation. We hope that the organization that shot the video will aid our investigation by sharing their footage and other evidence with us. Neither the organization, nor their undercover investigator, informed us of the alleged activity on the farm, which must have occurred weeks ago since that flock is no longer on the farm. However, that does not lessen the seriousness of the allegations, or our responsibility to determine what happened, and how to better prevent it from happening again.
Mistreatment of animals is never tolerated by Perdue. We regularly visit farms and conduct audits, but we have to trust that our independent contract growers, and those working on their farms, are upholding their responsibility to provide care according to our animal care standards. At this point, we have no reason to believe that any Perdue associates were involved, or knew of the alleged abuse on the farm. No chickens are currently on the farm.
To our consumers, customers and all who put their trust in us, we promise to aggressively investigate the situation and take appropriate action to ensure the proper care and handling of our chickens. We are suspending the grower’s contract while we investigate and are not placing birds on the farm. We promise to share with you our findings and subsequent actions.