Spring 2003 Poultry Press << Previous - Next >>

Inside the Egg Industry: New Investigations Show the Horror of a Hen's Life

Photo by Zoe Weil

Compassion Over Killing (COK), an animal advocacy group based in Washington DC, documented 3 buildings caved in by snow at an ISE battery-hen operation in Maryland in February. 300,000 caged hens were trapped, many of them crushed, in the collapsed buildings. The hens were gassed following a rumor that they were to be burned along with the buildings. COK footage from this and previous investigations prompted an 8-minute report on Washington DC Fox News Channel 5, on February 23, with follow-up coverage the next day. Footage of sick, suffering, dead and dying hens alternated with images of the birds viewed from the manure pits beneath the cages. COK's Paul Shapiro told Fox, "The factory farmer's worst nightmare is an activist with a video camera." Visit http://www.cok.net

Mercy For Animals (MFA), an animal advocacy group based in Columbus, Ohio, released findings of an investigation at Weaver Brothers Egg Farm in Versailles, Ohio, in March, attracting major media coverage. 15 months after disclosing conditions at Ohio's two largest hen factory farms, Buckeye and Daylay, MFA again documented battery-hen conditions during nighttime visits. United Egg Producers (UEP, the egg industrytrade group) suggested the investigators staged or "caused" the scenes of suffering on tape. MFA's Nathan Runkle countered: "We find it offensive that someone who profits off the exploitation of egg-laying hens would point the finger at activists who are exposing the inherent cruelty . . . and rescuing hens who are in dire need of veterinary care." MFA asked prosecutors to file cruelty charges against Weaver Bros. Visit http://www.MercyForAnimals.org.

A February 10 Chicago Tribune article, "Activists Target Factory Farms," featured investigations of battery-hen operations by Mercy for Animals and Compassionate Action for Animals (http://www.ca4a.org). CAA, based in Minneapolis, Minn., described birds with "large tumors on their legs" and "blisters where their beaks had been cut off." United Egg Producers sought to dodge accusations by pointing to UEP's new welfare guidelines, which, in fact, are nothing but a reaffirmation of animal abuse: battery cages, debeaking, and forced molting.

  • Write letters to the editor, call talk radio shows, and voice your concerns to
    Albert E. Pope, President
    United Egg Producers
    1720 Windward Concourse, Suite 320
    Alpharetta, GA 30005
    Ph: 770-360-9220
    Fax: 770-360-7058
    Email: info@unitedegg.org


Spring 2003 Poultry Press << Previous - Next >>