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Lidl Chicken Scandal:

Tell Lidl to stop this cruelty

Dead chick in gloved hands


New undercover investigations into Lidl chicken farms have expoosed a shocking and systemic animal cruelty scandal.

Despite being the fastest-growing UK supermarket, Lidl is refusing to end the suffering of millions of chickens in its supply chain. By signing up to the Better Chicken Commitment, Lidl could eradicate some of the cruellest practices endured by the chickens they raise for meat.


Over 340 companies across the UK and Europe, including Lidl France, have already pledged to stop selling suffering. Demand that Lidl GB do the same.

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What Investigators Found

Investigators have been undercover on Lidl supplier farms in Germany (twice), SpainItalyAustria and the UK. The footage reveals shocking conditions and suffering on an alarming scale.

GERMAN INVESTIGATIONS (click to read more)
  • Filthy conditions. Forced to lie in the continuous build up of excrement from thousands of birds, the wet litter causes skin burns and lesions and acts as a reservoir of disease. 
  • Painful injuries. The bodies of Frankenchickens cannot physically cope with their unnaturally fast growth rate. Their bones are highly susceptible to fractures, breaks and dislocations, preventing some birds from even being able to stand.
  • Dead and dying chickens​. Many Frankenchickens die on the farm as a result of health conditions linked to their unnaturally large bodies. The stress these huge bodies exert on a young heart means heart failure is all too common. 
  • Inhumane slaughter. The law requires that seriously ill or injured chickens that are likely to suffer should be treated or humanely culled. Despite this, workers are shown swinging chickens around by their head in a manner that does not conform with animal welfare regulations. 
  • Cruel handling. Workers are seen kicking and throwing birds, in a way that will have most likely caused fear, injury or suffering to the birds affected.  This is a clear violation of animal welfare laws, which requires all personnel handling animals to do so without violence or causing fear, injury, or suffering. 
SPANISH INVESTIGATION (click to read more)
  • Health conditions linked to fast growth. Several health conditions related to fast growth are identifiable in the footage including ‘Kinky back’, a type of spinal compression that forces birds to lie on their backs. A bird is also seen rapidly flapping its wings while on its back, which suggests a heart attack and/or sudden death syndrome. 


  • Abuse. Operators unload newborn chicks on the farm by throwing them to the ground. Farm workers can also be seen beating chicks to death on a bucket, with still-conscious chicks filmed still moving inside the bucket among a pile of the dead.


  • Unsanitary conditions. Dead birds are left to rot in the shed. 
ITALIAN INVESTIGATION (click to read more)
  • Baby chicks thrown from height. On their first day on the farm, chicks are violently thrown from a height of more than one metre, causing them to crush each other. 


  • Chickens unable to stand or walk. Numerous birds are seen injured and suffering. Many of them are suffering from diseases or conditions which are more prevalent in fast-growing ‘Frankenchicken’ breeds.


  • Illegal slaughter methods. A worker is seen hitting a chicken over the head with a metal rod. Other workers are filmed crushing chickens against the troughs and crushing their necks. 
AUSTRIAN INVESTIGATION (click to read more)
  • Chickens being crushed. Chickens are seen being crushed under the wheel of a vehicle. Some birds remain alive and vigorously flapping their wings afterwards. 


  • Chickens unable to stand up under their own weight. Due to the fast-growing breed of the chickens used, the birds gow so fast that their bodies are unable to support their own weight. Some birds are unable to move properly and so cannot access food and water.


  • Decomposing carcasses Conditions are so bad that birds can be seen attempting to eat the decomposing carcasses of several dead chickens. 
  • 71% of the samples were contaminated with antibiotic-resistant germs. The laboratory detected the enzyme ESBL in the affected samples. This enzyme renders bacteria immune to commonly prescribed antibiotics.
  • 25% of the samples contained enterococci. These indicate contamination with fecal matter. Once outside the intestines, enterococci can become very dangerous.
  • 18% of the samples were contaminated with Campylobacter. Infections with these intestinal bacteria can lead to fever, diarrhea or, in rare cases, neurological diseases accompanied with paralysis.
UK INVESTIGATION (click to read more)
  • Birds routinely run over. Chickens are regularly run over by forklift trucks, something which workers described as ‘part of the job and can’t really be avoided’.


  • Major welfare issues. The chickens on the farm are routinely suffering from welfare issues such as broken bones, heart attacks, arthritis, ammonia burns, and overcrowded conditions.


  • Severe injuries. Chickens were found still alive with severe injuries. One bird was seen crawling on the floor with broken legs. Another was gasping with an open wound exposing their internal organs.



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