Animal lovers upset over live chicks being tossed in Easter colours in a video

Cutesy multi-coloured chicks may be a big hit with kids in some Western countries during Easter celebrations.

But the way they are being dyed has raised welfare concerns, and got animal lovers and welfare groups flapping mad.

A video showing chicks being tossed with dyes has sparked anger on social media in the run up to Easter this weekend.

Posted on Facebook by media company 19, the clip has been viewed more than seven million times since mid-March.

The video begins with a box full of chirping chicks in vivid party colours before showing how uncoloured live hatchlings are dyed in a rough and tumble manner.

It shows a man emptying a tray of hatchlings into a bucket. Wearing gloves, he douses the chicks twice with a green dye and tosses them like a big salad to coat them evenly.

He then pours the chicks into a tray, and uses his hands to spread them out.

One netizen was more upset at the callous treatment of the chicks than the colouring: "I don't think it's the fact that they're colouring the chickens that upsets everyone. It's that he's tossing them around and roughing them up. Probably breaks little wings, legs, etc. Sad."

Poultry farmers have claimed that some methods of dyeing the chicks, such as injecting the egg with a dye or spraying colours on hatchlings are harmless.

But animal rights activists object, saying it's a bad idea when the birds are transformed into playthings at Easter only to be abandoned after the holiday.

Coloring the chickens for #Easter...#WTH???!!! #vegan #animal #abuse #APDTA Nation19 Magazine.

Posted by 19 on Thursday, March 17, 2016