“Computer malfunction” On Chicken Farm Caused Death of 27,000 Chickens

Pappi Hex

A firm has been hit with a £44,000 fine over the death of 27,000 chickens following a "computer malfunction' in the broiler shed ventilation system.

According to the Leicester County Council, the incident occurred at Hose Lodge Farm in Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire, England, on May 26, 2020.

At that time, there were around 50,000 chickens on the farm that were kept in a shed when the "systems that regulated airflow, vital for the welfare of the chickens, failed." The inlets on the building's side were closed for a scheduled rest period, but a flaw in the system responsible for the regulation of airflow to the shed failed to open, thus creating a sealed unit. 

The temperature inside rose and forced the chickens to overheat alive. 

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As per a BBC report, Investigators revealed that an alarm that should've been set off when the building's internal temperature reached 27°C (80.6°F) was erroneously set to sound at 37C (98.6°F). By the time the workers at the farm were alerted, more than half of the chickens (about 27,249) had already died. 

Leicester County Council's Trading Standard Service charged Hudson & Sanders Limited with being negligent towards the birds.

The Trading Standard Service said the farm had inadequate and untrained staff, of which they were unsure how to address the overheating incident.

The company pleaded guilty to 4 charges and received a fine of £44,000 (about $55K), a victim surcharge of £190, and the council's legal costs of £12,634.83 (about $15,715.77). The company was prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The council's head of regulatory services, Gary Connors, said that the high fine might prompt other businesses in this line to ensure adequate staffing, and as well, as safe and secure operational procedures to avoid such distressing events from occurring in the future. 


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