Discounter nevertheless obtains chicken meat from operator of the horror farm

Lidl GB lies

30-Jun-2023 - Germany

Last week, animal welfare organizations published shocking video footage from the chicken coop of a British Lidl supplier. Lidl GB then claimed to the Daily Mirror newspaper that it was not supplied by the farm or its operator "2 Sisters". Now, however, packaging from several British Lidl stores shows that this is not true.

Albert Schweitzer Stiftung für unsere Mitwelt / Open Cages UK

Ponderous broiler chickens in the overcrowded barn of a Lidl supplier. In the foreground, a chicken with a twisted leg.

computer generated picture

symbolic picture

Albert Schweitzer Stiftung für unsere Mitwelt / Open Cages UK
computer generated picture

Activist:inside photographed several chicken meat packaging of the Lidl brand "Birchwood" with the imprint "GB 2037" on the weekend. This number is assigned to the slaughterhouse of "2 Sisters" in Scunthorpe in the county of Lincolnshire. All slaughterhouses in the United Kingdom have unique four-digit codes that must be indicated on the packaging. The list of codes is published on a government website and updated monthly. So the meat in the photos clearly comes from the "2 Sisters" supplier, which Lidl GB claims it does not supply (anymore).

A worker from a "2 Sisters" chicken fattening farm in Lincolnshire had previously leaked the explosive video footage to the British animal welfare organization Open Cages. The recordings show, among other things, how numerous chickens are run over with forklift trucks and left severely injured. Workers admit on hidden camera that this is "part of the job". The animals are also badly marked by overbreeding and poor husbandry. The fattening farm from which the footage was taken is certified with the British "Red Tractor" label, which promises better husbandry conditions. Open Cages has filed criminal charges.

A manager at the farm is featured in the footage. He says, "[T]his size [chicken] here will go to Lidl ...". Although the farm's operator "2 Sisters Food Group" is listed on the official supplier list (as of 2023), Lidl GB had subsequently denied sharing responsibility for the conditions at the company. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, a Lidl company spokesperson said, "The farm in question and the supplier in question do not supply Lidl GB." (Original quote: "The farm and supplier in question does not supply Lidl."[sic]) To the news portal Newsquest, Lidl had even accused Open Cages of "false allegations."

Meanwhile, many Lidl customers across Europe have been venting their displeasure about Lidl's irresponsibility on social media. In the UK, #LidlChickenScandal was the trending topic on Twitter. In Germany, too, numerous people protested under posts by Lidl on Instagram and Facebook.

Animal welfare organizations call for Lidl to take serious step

A coalition of more than 20 animal welfare organizations from eleven European countries denounces the abuses in chicken fattening farms working on behalf of Lidl. Evidence of animal cruelty is now available from five countries. In addition to suffering, dying and decomposing chickens in all barns, the footage shows, among other things, how a worker urinates in a barn (Germany), workers improperly beat chicks to death (Spain, Italy) or how chickens are run over with a tractor (Austria). A laboratory study also showed that of 51 samples from eight German Lidl stores, 71% were contaminated with antibiotic-resistant germs. These pathogens can multiply excellently under the conditions shown.

Lidl promised to examine the alleged individual cases and invokes its old "animal welfare" promises (from 2026 30% fresh meat from husbandry form level 3 and 4), which, however, do not go far enough from the point of view of animal welfare organizations.

Mahi Klosterhalfen, President of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation: "Lidl still wants to sell 70% of its meat from guaranteed animal-cruel mass animal husbandry and torture breeding in 2026. We have now documented what this looks like in five countries. In the same period, Aldi and others are converting to the animal welfare standards of the European Broiler Chicken Initiative for the entire chicken meat range. Lidl is failing catastrophically on animal welfare."

A petition calling on Lidl to finally act has already been signed by more than 390,000 people across Europe.

The European broiler chicken initiative

Lidl's competitors Aldi, Bünting, Globus, Norma and Tegut have already joined the European Broiler Chicken Initiative and want to switch 100% to the higher standards. Rewe has also signaled its willingness - if the other major supermarkets follow suit. Lidl has at least joined in France and the Netherlands, but apparently wants to continue to produce and sell agony meat in the rest of Europe.

Unlike the "Animal Welfare Initiative," for example, the European Broiler Chicken Initiative prescribes healthier breeds - instead of the fast-growing "Frankenchickens." In addition, there are regulations for more space, daylight and employment opportunities, as well as for slaughter that is as stress-free as possible. The initiative's criteria are scientifically based and supported by 37 European organizations and around 600 companies worldwide.

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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