Battle as Yorkshire chicken farm accused of ‘illegal cruelty’ aims to expand


A typical densely stocked chicken shed

FARMERS running two poultry businesses where evidence was found of widespread suffering and risks to human health are aiming to open a third – giant – chicken farm, prompting angry objections.

Undercover investigators at one unit found birds showing signs of serious welfare problems.

At both businesses, the investigators also saw dead chickens piled up, exposed to the open air, which they said was illegal and posed a hazard to human and wildlife health. Birds were also seen collapsing under their own body weight.

But the bosses of the firm now want to build a third centre, which would rear more than a million-and-a-half birds each year. Continue reading


Chick or tweet: the birds we are honoured with

TWO years ago, I started keeping occasional notes on the birds we saw in our garden. I don’t claim to be anything but a complete amateur in bird-watching or that my records are comprehensive. But they are a snapshot of the wonderful, soul-enriching observations of life that is, thankfully, still hanging on in our ever-shrinking green corners and hedgerows. Our garden is only a modest one, in a medium-sized town, but I am still impressed by the life cycles it harbours.

I dedicate this post to builders across Britain of housing estates, trunk roads and airport runways, pro-HS2 campaigners, office block developers, concrete layers, Natural England – which wants to allow the annihilation of robins’, pied wagtails’ and starlings’ nests and eggs – and all other determined destroyers of hedgerows and wildlife habitats. Continue reading