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."
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