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Lawsuit alleges animal cruelty at Morganton chicken plant

A lawsuit filed in Burke County alleges Case Farms, which supplies chicken to KFC and Taco Bell, knowingly operated faulty equipment that maims and kills chicks.
Credit: Adobe Stock Images

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — A Burke County poultry provider that supplies meat to some of the largest restaurant chains in the U.S., including KFC and Taco Bell, is facing a lawsuit alleging animal cruelty. 

Legal Impact for Chickens (LIC), an animal-welfare charity, filed suit against Case Farms in Burke County District Court, a spokesperson for the group said. The complaint was filed based on a 2021 undercover investigation from animal advocacy group Animal Outlook that LIC claims revealed a trend of cruel and deadly abuse at the Morganton facility. The company's hatchery processes more than 200,000 chicks daily, according to the lawsuit, which accuses the company of violating industry standards and North Carolina law. 

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The suit alleges that Case Farms knowingly operated faulty equipment, including a machine that smashes chicks to death. 

"Case Farms is supposed to protect its chicks from injury, but instead, the company wastefully crushes, maims and kills countless newborn birds soon after they hatch, Legal Impact for Chickens president Alene Anello said. "Consumers and animals alike deserve better from powerful producers like Case Farms."

Case Farms, which is based in Troutman, has two North Carolina production facilities in Goldsboro and Morganton. The company also has two Ohio locations. 

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