There will never be a happy ending to a video with a processing plant in the final fade-out — especially if you’re a chicken.
But a new government-financed video is aimed at debunking myths that suggest farm-raised fowl endure life in concentration camps, cramped into cages and injected with hormones and steroids.
Chickens born and bred in B.C. live short but happy lives — that’s according to an educational video created to show British Columbians what life is really like on B.C. farms, said Ravi Bathe, B.C. Chicken Growers Association president.
“They are free run. They can go anywhere in the barn they like and they have free access to feed and water. They are not raised in cages,” Bathe said.
Neither are they fed illegal drugs.
The use of hormones and steroids in chicken production has been illegal since the 1960s, he said.
The Chicken Growers Association will receive $15,500 from the provincial government’s Buy Local program, which offers matching funds up to $100,000 for local food marketing campaigns.
Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick said he is looking forward to seeing the video.
“They have a great story to tell,” he said.
Bathe said most people do not realize the only difference between premium-priced free-range chickens and other birds produced on B.C.’s 340 chicken farms is that free-range chickens have access to the outdoors.
“There’s so many misconceptions out there and that’s what we’re trying to fix with this video,” he said.
“What we want to do is raise awareness.”
B.C. farms produce about 85 million chickens a year, generating just under half a billion dollars in 2011.
The birds live in a barn for five or six weeks before being sent on their final journey to the processing plant.
The video, together with a portable mini-barn complete with chicks and full-grown birds, will be taken to middle and high schools, Bathe said.
The organization already has a successful elementary school program.
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