Louise Wallis witness statement

name: Louise Wallis
section: Animals
for: The Defence
experience: Researcher and Activist for various groups


The witness recounts an inspection on Sun Valley Poultry processing plant and gives details of the condition of birds in transit aswell as the means of transport and confinement.


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In December 1988, with others, I attended Sun Valley Poultry's processing plant which is located in the town of Hereford, Herefordshire. The intention was to inspect and observe the conditions of live chickens whilst in transit to the processing plant for slaughter.

Shortly after my arrival at the delivery gate, a lorry drove up containing a cargo of live chickens. The vehicle was open-sided and whilst it was in a stationary position, I walked up to one side and had the opportunity to observe the chickens at close range; close enough to touch them.

They were packed very tightly together in plastic mesh crates (similar in design and construction to plastic crates that loaves of bread are delivered in, although totally enclosed). Because the chickens were packed so tightly and were all the same colour I was not able to count an exact number but I would estimate that there were at least ten chickens in each crate. Legs, wings and heads protruded through the mesh and the birds were squashed at the sides of the crates, nearest to me, looked particularly uncomfortable. Many of these birds were totally apathetic, unable or too exhausted to respond to stroking and touching. Their eyes were closed, their beaks partially open and in my opinion several individuals looked close to death. The protruding legs of several birds had been broken, and hung limply, which must have casued these particular animals excrutiating pain. Others had extensive bald patches, with no feathers, and open sores on their bodies which would have left them vulnerable to the cold and also possible infection.

In addition the crates were stacked directly on top of each other (and to the side) meaning that urine and faeces from the birds above would soil and soak the ones below; the birds in the very bottom crates obviously being the worst affected. After approximately ten minutes had passed, the lorry drove into the processing plant and that was the last time I saw these animals.

date signed: 28 July 1993
status: Appeared in court
references: Not applicable/ available

exhibits: Not applicable/ available

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