- Faulty equipment meant a total of 81 birds were plunged into scalding water
- Agonising deaths at 1Stop Halal in Eye, Suffolk, happened during workers' row
- Firm boss Ranjit Singh Boparan was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs
- The company said it has since invested in 'training and control systems'
Ranjit Singh Boparan, a multimillionaire businessman known as the 'chicken king', was fined £8,000
Factory workers boiled more than 60 chickens alive during a row at a halal slaughterhouse.
Faulty equipment at 1Stop Halal in Eye, Suffolk, meant a total of 81 birds were plunged into scalding water in separate incidents over a period of four months.
The plant uses an electrically charged water pool to stun some birds before cutting their throats.
Chickens are also killed using the same method without being stunned for some Muslims who want to know the animals are alive when they are killed.
But in the first incident the water pool stopped working which meant workers had to cut each chicken's neck whilst the animals were still awake.
An argument then broke out between two slaughtermen over the quality of cutting as some birds passed them without being killed.
This led to 64 chickens suffering agonising deaths by being plunged into boiling water for two minutes.
The workers, who have since left the firm, had to keep up with the production line, which processes 60,000 to 100,000 chickens a day.
1Stop Halal, which supplies major supermarkets, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to 81 chickens.
The animals, killed in a tank intended to remove feathers off already dead birds, were disposed of and not sent to supermarkets.
Company boss Ranjit Singh Boparan, a multimillionaire businessman known as the 'chicken king', was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £6,000 costs.
He is not involved in the factory's day-to-day running.
The firm suggested the birds died in a single incident in July last year but The Times reported that chickens were killed in boiling water on ten occasions on different days.
1Stop Halal told MailOnline: 'We deeply regret the circumstances which occurred on the 6th July, 2015, during our non-stun slaughter when up to 81 birds were caused unnecessary suffering.
'This occurred on our first day of operating the facility at Eye and involved a degree of human error. Employees who were involved in the incident no longer work for the business.
'Since this incident the company has invested substantially in further training [and] improved control systems and have processed more than 30 million birds.'
Morrisons, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's have all sold chicken which has come directly or indirectly from 1Stop Halal.
A Morrisons' spokesman said it did not sell chickens which were affected by the failure.
Sainsbury's said it had received assurances that its chicken was not affected by the factory error.
Animal rights campaigners have called for a crackdown on slaughterhouses' welfare standards.