RIVERSIDE – Members of an animal rights’ group will picket outside a Riverside McDonald’s Sunday to denounce what the activists allege are cruel slaughtering practices by the fast-food chain’s chicken suppliers.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is planning a 90- minute-long ”McCruely” protest at the McDonald’s franchise at 7474 Indiana Ave., starting at 1 p.m.
Demonstrators will be handing out leaflets and carrying signs spotlighting what they claim is the abusive treatment of poultry.
”Chickens raised for McDonald’s are slaughtered using an outdated method that results in extreme suffering,” according to a PETA statement. ”As one of the biggest sellers of chicken meat, McDonald’s has the responsibility — and the ability — to reduce this abuse by demanding that its U.S. and Canadian suppliers use a less cruel slaughter method.”
According to PETA’s McCruelty.com website, live chickens are routinely taken from transport trucks and ”hung upside down in metal shackles, which can result in broken bones, extreme bruising and hemorrhaging.”
”Workers have the opportunity to abuse live birds, and birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious,” according to the website. ”Many birds are immersed in tanks of scalding hot water while they are still alive.”
McDonald’s did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, when a similar demonstration was held at another Riverside McDonald’s a year ago, a corporation spokeswoman told City News Service that the PETA campaign was grossly inaccurate and that suppliers were expected to treat livestock humanely.
The fast-food chain pointed to regular audits of suppliers’ facilities and collaboration with ”leading independent animal welfare experts” to ensure best practices are used to process meat.