SALISBURY, Md. – Two days after an employee of a contract farmer that raises chickens for Perdue Farms was arrested on animal abuse charges in Rockingham, NC, Perdue issued a statement saying it was “appalled” by the matter.
An undercover video, uploaded to YouTube on Dec. 9 by Los Angeles-based animal rights group Mercy for Animals, depicted the poultry worker stomping on chickens and throwing them at a wall. According to the Richmond County Daily Journal, the employee, Danny Cajija Miranda, is employed by Deese Farms, a contract grower for Salisbury, Md.-based Perdue. He faces felony animal cruelty charges.
Vandhana Bala of Mercy for Animals filed a report with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, according to the Daily Journal.
“We are appalled by the mistreatment and abuse by a contract catching crew and a farm worker shown in the video,” Perdue said in a statement Dec. 9. “We are committed to working with law enforcement to identify everyone involved and hope the Mercy for Animals will cooperate to facilitate those efforts. We are committed to taking aggressive actions to hold those involved accountable and prevent similar behavior in the future.”
Perdue also said it regularly visits farms and conducts audits, but that it has to trust its independent contract growers and those working on farms to uphold their responsibility to provide care according to the company’s animal care standards.
“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,” the company stated. “We are suspending the grower’s contract while we investigate and are not placing birds on the farm.”