MANHEIM, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture is among a host of officials across the state who say the practices at Kreider Farms meet or exceed industry standards.
The farm drew public attention after the release of an undercover video recorded by Humane Society of the United States, alleging animal abuse.
“The state veterinarian visited and inspected the entire Kreider Farms Manheim facility on two occasions over the past three days,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig, in a released statement. “All practices, procedures and conditions that our veterinarian observed were consistent with industry best practices. Kreider Farms has passed every state inspection over the past five years, showing high and consistent standards of flock health management, above PEQAP (Pa. Egg Equalitiy Assurance Program) standards.”
Inspectors had similar things to say in their reports.
“I find that this farm is running under generally accepted protocols and management,” said Gregory Martin, Penn State extension educator for poultry, and Professional Animal Scientist. “I found no errors or conditions that would be of concern for immediate action.”
Martin said the farm is “comparable to other farms within the commonwealth and industry.”
Donna Kelly, veterinarian and poultry welfare auditor with University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, said birds were alert, clean, active and healthy.
She noted two carcasses were found in one bird house, one which likely died after the daily mortality inspection. Two trapped birds were found alive. One was released and the other euthanized.
In the farm’s older bird houses, “flies were present, but not to the extent that they were a nuisance walking the house,” she said.
Ron Kreider, the farm’s president and CEO, said these reports show no signs of abuse.
“These results confirm what we’ve maintained since the beginning: The allegations by HSUS are unfounded — completely untrue. Our chicken houses are and have been professionally managed at the highest levels, and our birds are well-cared for, healthy and active,” he said in a statement.
He’s also not convinced the video was shot at his farm.
“HSUS’s video demonstrates no connection to Kreider Farms — it could have been taped at any chicken house,” he said. “The day these allegations broke, we welcomed television cameras immediately inside our chicken houses. Viewers observed that conditions in our facilities bear no resemblance to the HSUS video. Consumers should question how these videos were shot, edited and assembled.”
(Reporter Chris Kick can be reached at 330-403-9477, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)