700 000 birds seized from Victorian farms

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) seized 700 000 birds from a broiler farm in Victoria this week after receiving reports that they were malnourished.

DPI descended on six properties across the state, which all produce chickens for the same family-owned company which the department is declining to name.

The ABC has named the company as Tip-Top Poultry, a poultry meat processor that supplies to various states.

Calls to the company this morning have not been returned.

Dr Hugh Millar ,the DPI’s executive director of biosecurity, said the department acted quickly to protect the chickens located in northern Victoria, the south-west and in west Gippsland.
“Late last week the department seized approximately 700,000 chickens at four of those properties and is monitoring the condition of the birds at the other two,” Millar said.
Another company has been handed responsibility for the chickens by the DPI.
“The chickens are now being fed and properly cared for,” Miller said.
“They will eventually be processed for commercial sale once they have reached the appropriate size and condition.
“The animals are disease free and this incident is unrelated to recent disease outbreaks in poultry flocks.”

The discovery of the underfed chickens comes after a man was charged with criminal offences last week over an illegal slaughterhouse on his property.

Dogs, chickens, horses and goats were among the animals found at the property, which was allegedly selling the meat at cheap prices.

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