UPDATE: Chicken catchers to wear body cameras following abuse video

Animal rights activists call the move ‘absolutely ridiculous’ unless footage is live-streamed

Employees from a Chilliwack-based chicken catching company will now be equipped with body cameras, company officials say.

The move follows the release of horrific undercover footage by Mercy for Animals that showed live birds being torn apart, stomped and thrown. The video is driving a major shakeup in industry practice.

On Wednesday, Elite Services president Duane Dueck said the company has pledged big changes in quick order.

Three Elite workers were dismissed as a direct result of the video.

Brand-new operating procedures now include new video system for the chicken-catching service hired to round up and transport chickens.

“Effective immediately, it will be mandatory for one supervisor and two staff members in each barn to wear cameras on their safety vests to capture the activity within the barn,” said Dueck, in a follow-up news release.

Video footage of barn activity will checked daily, and the plan is to get the cameras up and running within two weeks. They are currently being tested in the field.

Mercy for Animals Canada vice-president Krista Hiddema called the announcement the company would use body cameras “absolutely ridiculous.”

“If they wanted to truly do something meaningful then they should ensure those cameras are live-streamed to the Internet,” she said. “If they have cameras on their bodies, it is no different than what they are doing today.”

After the videos were release, Elite Services said they responded with company-wide “refresh and retraining” that started on June 13. This process was in conjunction to updating the Standards and Procedures for the organization, and incorporating the new safety and video requirements.

“Today, Elite Services will introduce a comprehensive organizational update to the new SOP and all employees will be asked to sign new orientation documentation affirming that they understand the care, concern and procedures that our organization demands.

“It is our hope that the senseless acts of violence that were perpetrated in the video will be a catalyst to implement new elevated levels of animal care, not just at Elite Services, but industry wide.

“It is our intent to share the experience of our new best practices with industry regulators, and adopt other best practices from cutting edge producers.”

Dueck also corrected some incorrect details released by mistake, “due to the rapidly evolving nature of this event, and in an effort to respond swiftly.”

Of the five Elite employees who were dismissed, two in fact had already been let go prior to the release of the video.

“The other three employees were terminated as a direct result of the video. Since the release of the June 13 statement, after a detailed forensic review of the video, one additional person has been identified and terminated,” said Dueck. “We wanted to ensure that the correct information was shared in a timely manner.”

Hiddema remain unimpressed with the company’s response to the undercover videos and she hopes criminal charges are being considered.

“It’s almost comical that they are taking the position they are going to wear cameras,” she said. “It’s still a matter of the fox guarding the henhouse.”

Just Posted

Langley’s assistant lacrosse captain tallies up five goals in Calgary loss

Stealth fell to Roughnecks, but hoping for comeback on Dec. 29 in New England.

VIDEO: balloons and games and music at Basic for Babies in Langley

Event helps Food Bank stock supplies for infants

LETTER: Not too late to protect the character of Brookswood

With election year coming, a letter writer suggests council be held accountable for re-development.

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Family Christmas fun at Aldergrove’s Loft Country farm

The Loft Country children’s horse camp in Aldergrove is celebrating Christmas in a new way this year

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read