PHILADELPHIA, June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Disturbing undercover footage shot by a Mercy For Animals investigator showing sickening animal abuse at several Eggland's Best suppliers in Washington will be released during a news conference this morning. The video shows thousands of birds packed into filthy wire battery cages, hardly able to move without crawling over other birds. Severely sick and injured birds are left to suffer and slowly die without proper veterinary care, and the bodies of dead animals are seen rotting in cages with live birds still laying eggs for human consumption. The video also shows workers violently ripping birds out of cages by their wings or necks and throwing them on top of each other in trash cans to be gassed to death.
Mercy For Animals' director of investigations, Matt Rice, will host a tele-press conference at 10 a.m. Eastern Time at 888-225-2695.
The video, shot at several Briarwood Farms locations in Rochester and Oakville, Washington, reveals widespread animal abuse and suffering, including the following:
- Thousands of hens crammed inside cages unable to freely walk, spread their wings, or rest comfortably
- Birds trapped in cage wire or under feed troughs, trampled by their cage mates and unable to reach food and water
- Dead hens, rotted beyond recognition, left in cages with hens still laying eggs for human consumption
- Birds with swollen eyes, bleeding prolapses, extreme feather loss, and other serious afflictions denied proper veterinary care
The majority of the problems documented at this facility are directly related to confining hens in cages for nearly their entire lives. These cages are stacked in tiers inside giant windowless sheds. Egg-laying hens can't even spread their wings, much less move around without stepping on and climbing over other hens. Denied nearly everything that comes naturally to them, including perching, nesting, and dustbathing, these birds never get to see the sun, breathe fresh air, or feel the grass beneath their feet.
Battery cages are so inhumane that they have been banned or restricted in the European Union, California, Michigan, and several other U.S. states. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are considering bans. Additionally, leading food retailers, including Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Costco, and Target, and more than 100 other food companies have pledged to switch to cage-free eggs. Restaurants such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Subway have demanded their egg suppliers stop cramming hens into cages. Even major egg producers, including Rembrandt Foods, are going cage-free. But not Eggland's Best.
"Eggland's Best is the worst to hens. Hens who lay eggs sold under the Eggland's Best brand lead lives filled with horrific suffering and deprivation crammed inside filthy cages," said Mercy For Animals' president, Nathan Runkle. "Eggland's Best must do better by getting hens out of cruel cages—something many of its competitors have already done. It's time for Eggland's Best to make the socially responsible choice to go cage-free."
The undercover video will be made available at www.EgglandsWorst.com.
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SOURCE Mercy For Animals