HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hollywood stars are crying foul over McDonald's inhumane treatment of egg-laying hens after an undercover investigation exposed rampant cruelty to animals at factory farms supplying eggs for Egg McMuffins. In a letter fired off today to McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner, at the behest of the animal protection organization, Mercy For Animals, Ryan Gosling, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Deschanel, Alicia Silverstone, Maria Menounos, Kristin Bauer, Ed Begley, Jr., Wendie Malick, Bryan Adams and Steve-O wrote: "On behalf of compassionate people everywhere, we implore you to help end the needless suffering of these animals by adopting strict and meaningful animal welfare policies worldwide, including the commitment to prohibit the purchase of eggs produced by hens who spend their miserable lives crammed into tiny wire cages."
The appeal comes after hidden-camera video, shot at Sparboe Farms facilities in Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado by an investigator with Mercy For Animals, revealed unconscionable cruelty. The footage shows hens crammed in tiny wire cages, dead hens left to rot in cages with birds still laying eggs for human consumption, and workers burning off the beaks of birds without painkillers, throwing them, breaking their necks, and swinging them by their legs. The investigation -- which broke on ABC's Good Morning America and 20/20 -- prompted McDonald's to cut ties with the factory farm. However, the company has failed to implement any meaningful animal welfare policies to actually address the main issue of concern: the inherently cruel practice of confining hens in tiny wire cages for their entire lives.
The letter points out:
While McDonald's has already established a 100% cage-free purchasing policy in Europe, your U.S. restaurants continue to support egg factory farms that confine hens for most of their lives in cages so small they can't even spread their wings. These poor birds never get to walk, run, perch, roost, dustbathe, build nests, see the sun, breathe fresh air, or do nearly anything that comes naturally to them. Common sense tells us that animals with legs and wings should be given the basic freedom to move.
Sadly, there is not a single federal law to protect hens from cruelty from the time they hatch to the time they are killed. While McDonald's brags about the "billions and billions served," millions of hens exploited for your restaurants are being grossly underserved. In fact, these animals are being abused in ways that could land your egg suppliers in jail, if dogs or cats were the victims.
The letter concludes:
It's a good time for some great changes at McDonald's. As the largest egg buyer in the entire country, McDonald's has the power -- and the moral responsibility -- to ensure that the eggs in its Egg McMuffins don't come from rotten egg suppliers.
To view the undercover video, visit McDonaldsCruelty.com.
To read the complete letter, signed by the celebrities, visit McDonaldsCruelty.com/Letter.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals