BRITISH COLUMBIA

Chilliwack Chicken Abuse 'Absolutely Sickening,' B.C. SPCA Says

06/13/2017 07:07 EDT | Updated 06/13/2017 07:07 EDT

Warning: The video above may be disturbing to some viewers.

VANCOUVER — The company responsible for catching chickens at farms in British Columbia's Fraser Valley says it has fired five employees after an animal rights group released video of alleged abuse.

Dwayne Dueck, president of Elite Services, says in a statement the company is taking "immediate corrective action'' after being "sickened'' by the footage it saw.

The SPCA in British Columbia has launched a formal investigation into what its investigator calls "brutal and sadistic'' violence against chickens.

Supplier 'appalled and extremely shocked'

Lindsay Wolf, with the group Mercy For Animals, says the abuses were captured by a whistleblower working for the company that supplies services at more than a dozen farms in the Fraser Valley.

The group wants grocery giant Loblaws to ensure the welfare of animals in its supply chain after the release of the video that allegedly shows multiple workers throwing, hitting, dismembering and killing the birds.

Loblaws says it has told its supplier, Ontario-based Sofina Foods Inc., that it has "zero tolerance for any kind of animal abuse.''

Sofina says it has reviewed the "horrifying footage'' allegedly taken of the company it contracted to catch chickens at its facilities in British Columbia and it is "appalled and extremely shocked'' by it.