MARKHAM, Ontario – The images may be disturbing to some individuals, but slaughter practices at a Sofina Foods turkey processing plant in Abbotsford, British Columbia, complied with current industry practices and government standards, the company said in a statement. The plant produces poultry products for the Lilydale brand.
The plant was the subject of a three-week undercover video investigation by Mercy For Animals. The animal welfare group submitted the footage to Canadian broadcaster CTV W5 which concluded there were no signs of wanton animal cruelty.
“As concluded by CTV’s W5 team and the industry experts featured in the October 22nd edition of the show, the practices at our Abbotsford plant comply with current industry practices and government regulations.” Sofina Foods said in a statement. “We collaborate with industry, regulatory and other experts continuously to enhance our practices.”
The news team traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado, and spoke with Dr. Temple Grandin, an animal welfare expert and long-time MEAT+POULTRY columnist. Grandin reviewed the footage and concluded that what was depicted in the video was normal industry practice. She noted that controlled atmosphere stunning is a more humane method of slaughter. Sofina Foods said the company’s first controlled atmosphere stunning system is due for delivery in 2017.
The company also expressed disappointment by some of the statements made by individuals shown in the video. “These comments do not reflect our culture and we will take appropriate action to ensure the very high standards we set are upheld.
“Our employees are dedicated people who take pride in producing Lilydale branded poultry products. Most have been with us for many years and we want to thank them for their continued support and diligence,” the company said.
Sofina Foods is a privately owned Canadian company that manufactures and distributes further-processed pork, beef and poultry products for retail and foodservice customers in Canada, the United States and other countries.