Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Chicken Choices for Maple Lodge Farms

The Chicken Mafia has a few choices:  A) continue to deny, delay, stonewall, and resist; or    B) Admit it has serious problems in its defined processes, and poor compliance to those defined processes; then fix all those problems; or   C) Allow others (ie. Small Flockers) who don't have those dysfunctions to serve consumers who want humane chicken.

Here is the undercover video allegedly shot at Maple Lodge Farms' Ontario slaughter plant, then reported by Mercy For Animals.

For more, including a MFA petition see

CTV's W5 provides some excellent video and followup investigations.

From January to June 2011, Maple Lodge accrued 26 Administrative Monetary Penalties ("AMPs") and paid $120,600 in fines, according to CFIA data. Between April and June, the company chalked up another  22 violations, the most AMPs in Canada.  Rather than continue with even more AMPs, CFIA laid charges against Maple Lodge Foods.

On Sept. 27, 2013, Maple Lodge Farms was convicted on 20 separate charges for failing to provide adequate animal welfare under Health of Animals Act.  They received a suspended sentence for 3 years (expires Sept. 27, 2016) on 18 of the charges they were convicted of.  On the two charges they were sentenced on, they were fined $80,000 cash and must spend $1 Million over the three year probation period to improve their bird transportation and processing plant system.  See Appendix "A" of the Mar. 27, 2014 Court Order  Since then, there have been 20 incidents of high chicken DOA (Dead On Arrival) during the 2014 period of  probation, indicating Maple Lodge Farms still hasn't solved their issues.

In their defense, Maple Lodge Farms says:
"We also participate in third-party audits of our facilities. On our most recent audit, conducted in August 2014 by Silliker, a global leader in food safety and quality solutions, Maple Lodge Farms achieved a 99.1 per cent score on transportation and 100 per cent on the holding and handling portions of the audit."
I note a difference between food safety and animal welfare.  Perhaps that is one source of the problem, Maple Lodge Farms can't comprehend the difference.  Silliker may have expertise in HACCP, but seem to have less experience in animal welfare.  If Maple Lodge scored 99.1% and 100% on their audits, perhaps they need a new auditor, and I shudder to think of those processors who barely pass the audits. 
Maple Lodge Farms is the largest chicken processor in Canada, exports chicken to 30 foreign countries, and is a prior winner of "50 Best Managed Companies in Canada" award.  Obviously, they knew better than this.  They had the sophistication and resources to do better than this.

How do we explain their alleged cruelty to dozens, if not thousands, of chickens?

On Maple Lodge Farm's Facebook page a posting at Mar. 29, 2015 8:29 AM by a Maple Lodge spokesperson blames the undercover videographer for continued abuse of the chickens because the videographer did not use the anonymous phone tip line to report known or suspected animal abuse by other employees.

Obviously, any of the hundreds of employees at Maple Lodge Farms could have picked up the phone, but none did.  Does this indicate that the abuse is a chronic accepted fact at Maple Lodge?  How else do we explain this?  It appears that this company, or at least this slaughter plant, is a toxic work environment needing a big shakeup.

What about the thousands of good, hard working employees at Maple Lodge Farms who were not involved in the abuse, and are just as appalled as the rest of Canada?  How do these previously proud employees explain to their family, friends, and neighbours about the Mark of Cain that Maple Lodge has tattooed upon them through no fault of these employees?

So what does the President of Maple Lodge Farms have to say about all this?  Here he is, fresh off YouTube, re-invented by their crisis media consultant with their soothing tones and politically correct phrases.  Give it a good, hard listen.

The word cloud from his speech looks pretty good.  Obviously professionally written.  You bought yourself the best speech money can buy.

Word Cloud from Speech by Michael Burrows, President of Maple Lodge Farms
about animal abuse inside their slaughter plant in Brampton ON

 Maple Lodge Farms has also issued a press release.

I have done a detailed analysis and recommendations, and a commentary from the vantage point of small flock chicken farmers, thinking about the steaming pile of chicken manure Mr. Burrows has thrown his company into.  My analysis of his amateurish attempt at a reassuring, yet shallow and unbelievable speech was done sentence by sentence.  It also provides a full, corrected transcript of his speech, as You Tube's version is a little garbled.  I hope it helps Maple Lodge quickly get onto the proper path, and mend their evil ways.

Note at the end where the Ontario Don of the Chicken Mafia clinches for his closeup, and says:

"If you feel we are falling short of these expectations, I invite you to let me know via the "Contact Us" page of our website."
Michael Burrows CEO of Maple Lodge Farms

Well Mr. Burrows, I think both you and Maple Leaf Farms fall very short of the mark.

Hear me loud and clear, you have fallen short of my expectations.

Mercy for Animals Canada, at the end of their shocking documentary on Maple Lodge Farms’ dysfunctional chicken operations (Timestamp 3:10), said:

“Remember, you can withdraw your support from this cruel industry by leaving chickens off your dinner plate".
Mercy for Animals Canada

You, Mr. Burrows and your company Maple Lodge Farms have damaged the reputation of the entire chicken industry, both within Canada and internationally.  Perhaps you have damaged Canada itself, and its citizens.  A weak economy, and we ge even more damage and weakness.  Thanks a lot!

As one of the small flock chicken farmer in Ontario Canada, you have damaged me and my chicken farm.

In Luke 23:34, Jesus, while on the cross, said:

 “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Incompetency and lack of awareness won Jesus’ recommendation for forgiveness.  It appears that you are incompetent, and lack awareness of both animal welfare and the managing of people.  Perhaps you should be forgiven for your failings and sins too.

Mr. Burrows and Maple Lodge Farms may be suffering from the Dunning–Kruger Effect, which is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate.

"If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent. […] the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is."
David Dunning

Having a name for your disease is half the battle.  Now all we need is a cure.  How about the cure of disciplinary firing for Mr. Burrows?

Someday, I hope to forgive you, Mr. Burrows.  However, I will never forget what you have done to those unfortunate chicken, to me, to all the other chicken farmers, and to Canada.

Oscar Wilde said,

“Every Saint has a past, and every Sinner has a future.”

Perhaps you hope that Oscar Wilde's maxim applies to you, Mr. Burrows; your sordid past, and your potentially illustrious future as a Chicken Mafia millionaire.

*  *  *

I'm done with them and their Chicken Mafia brotherhood.  Now it's your turn, my faithful Blog Dog Readers.

Do you have some comments you'd like to make to Maple Lodge Farms, and their President Michael Burrows?  If yes, here are the links.  Let them know how you truly feel.

Email Maple Lodge Farms

"Contact Us" page of  Maple Lodge Farms website page

No comments:

Post a Comment

Off-topic commercial spam that's posted so as to help sell your wares will be deleted.

On-topic comments, where you behave yourself and play nicely, will remain posted; whether they are pro or con. Everybody needs to fully understand all points of view so that we can find a solution that encompasses everybody's concerns. Give it your best shot.

If you decide to post, your posting becomes part of the public record, and SFPFC has full rights to use it (or not) in any reasonable manner or medium that suits our purposes.

Before posting, please proofread, and correct as necessary. If you subsequently discover a need to fix your previous posting, make an additional posting that refers to the original posting, then set the record straight.