United Poultry Concerns August 20, 2001
UPC Letter Re: RSPCA approved Liberty Barnlaid Eggs a Sham

Dr Hugh Wirth, President
3 Burwood Highway
Burwood East VIC 3151

Dear Dr Wirth:

Our office has received extremely disturbing documentation, including photographs, of the treatment and living conditions of hens in both the battery and Barn-laid divisions of the South Morang Enterprise, owned by Pace Farms, the largest egg producer in Australia.

We understand that the RSPCA has a business relationship with Pace Farms, which helps to explain why the RSPCA does not prosecute Pace Farms for cruelty to animals. We see virtual amputation of the upper mandible of "barn" hens to the nostrils; extreme overcrowding of hens; crippling; emaciation; illness; and birds driven to "cannibalism." We understand that eggs produced by hens under these conditions are being sold as "humane barn-laid eggs," and that people who think they are supporting humane farming in purchasing these eggs are being charged nearly twice as much as those who buy eggs from battery-caged hens.

Regarding Pace Farms' battery-caged hens and "barn" hens, here is one of several reports from Animal Liberation Victoria: On July 5th, the team returned to find the barn laid sheds cleared out. Inside the cleared sheds, several hens were found cowering on a pile of dead bodies. They had hardened faecal balls (some the size of large oranges) under their claws. These birds were severely dehydrated and weak (see photos 4 and 5). A semi-trailer stacked high with crates of live birds was left standing out exposed in the dark night. It was cold and windy. The birds made miserable sounds. As all production sheds were being depopulated (emptied), the truck contained battery, barn-laid, and/or free-range hens.

Dr Wirth, what is the explanation for this? Please understand that we will share your response with our international membership through our web site at www.UPC-online.org and through our quarterly Newsletter PoultryPress. In the meantime, we request that the RSPCA sever all of its financial ties with Pace Farms, and that the RSPCA discontinue its endorsement of the company's eggs. Please advise us of your intentions.

We request your immediate attention to our concerns. I look forward to your response.


Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405 USA

C: Mr. Peter Davies, Director General, RSPCA

Related Links:

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(UPC Letter Re: RSPCA approved Liberty Barnlaid Eggs a Sham )

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