Cruelty shown at poultry farm

By Country News

Secret video footage showing workers at a Victorian poultry farm kicking, throwing and abusing hens has prompted an animal cruelty outcry.

The video, produced by rights group Animal Liberation, shows workers from Bridgewater Poultry Farm in fluoro T-shirts slamming the chooks into the concrete floor from great heights as well as kicking them.

‘‘I hate it when their heads come off,’’ one female worker is heard saying.

Eggs from the farm are sold as Loddon Valley Eggs, Victorian Fresh Eggs and Country Fresh Eggs.

In a statement the company said it was ‘‘saddened and deeply appalled by the apparent conduct of employees’’, adding that it was not condoned, approved or permitted in any way.

‘‘Bridgewater Poultry Farm will work with the Victorian Government and all relevant authorities over the coming days to identify any shortcomings in the treatment of stock and the reasons for them.’’

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes called for action.

‘‘The footage that I’ve seen warrants an investigation,’’ Ms Symes said last week.

‘‘The overwhelming majority of farmers and people in the livestock industry care very deeply for their animals and when this type of footage emerges it undermines the good work that they do.’’