Some 1.14 million Danish broiler chickens die every year before they arrive at a slaughterhouse due to injuries sustained in the process of rounding them up.
After examining some 30 broiler flocks, Fødevarestyrelsen (the Danish veterinary and food administration) has concluded that the broilers are particularly vulnerable when mechanical catching is used.
Contusions of wings
The most common injury is a wing contusion, which often leads to the immediate death of the animal.
The injuries happen, for instance, when mechanical catchers work at a faster speed than allowed or when they drop the broilers into transportation boxes from an extreme height.
Raised for meat production
Fødevarestyrelsen is launching an action plan to identify and minimise these problems and will follow up on the situation again in 2016.
In Denmark, some 114 million broilers are caught annually of which 100 million are slaughtered in the country and the rest are exported live for slaughtering in other EU countries.
Broiler chickens are bred and raised specifically for meat production.