28 June 2010
THE killing of 10 chickens at Bayswater Primary School was despicable (''Pet chickens killed'', The Age, 26/6) but it is nothing compared with the cruelty routinely - and legally - inflicted on millions of chickens by the egg and broiler industries.
Each year in Australia 12 million ''useless'' male chicks are dropped live into mincing machines, gassed or suffocated. Some 11 million female chicks have their beaks partially burned off with hot blades or lasers. Australia's 488 million ''meat'' chickens are bred to grow at three times the normal rate and many become crippled under their own weight. Each year 20 million die before even reaching slaughter weight at six weeks. Isn't it time Australians said no to this cruelty?
Jennifer Moxham, Monbulk