This means there is no limit on how much can fester inside the sheds.There is no legal requirement to wash US chickens in chlorine or other disinfectants, but 97 per cent of its birds are cleaned in this way after slaughter.Unlike in the UK and Europe, there are no minimum space requirements for breeding chickens in the US.America also does not have any rules governing lighting levels in the sheds and, crucially, its farms have no maximum allowed level of ammonia, which indicates how much urine and faecal matter is present.The furore exposed just how difficult it will be for Britain to quickly strike new deals with foreign powers once we leave the EU in 2019.Now whistleblowers have offered a disturbing insight into the £70 billion US poultry industry, which is controlled by the big agricultural firms lobbying to sell their meat to Britain.Campaigners who work with farmers to improve standards say many are too scared to speak out for fear of having their contracts terminated.One farmer, John – not his real name – is currently part of a class action lawsuit by chicken farmers against big US poultry companies.
Footage shot at a farm in Georgia last month by the Humane Society of the United States showed the owner of the farm bludgeoning chickens with a metal rod.The firms dictate what the farmers can do and are paid according to a 'tournament system' that pits farmers against each other.The farmer who produces the most meat with the least feed comes top.North Carolina farmer Craig Watts, 51, told the Mo S: 'The birds are too heavy to stand because they have been bred for breast meat and nothing else so they spend their lives squatting.
It's like two toothpicks sticking out of a grape.'They spend 95 per cent of their time sitting on the litter, a mixture of pine shavings and faecal matter from that flock and prior flocks.'He said 1,000 of the 30,000 chickens he raised every six weeks would die before they reached maturity.Major poultry producers have cross-bred and interbred birds in recent decades to create 'mutant' chickens which grow larger in a shorter space of time and need less feed.