ATLANTA, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Disturbing undercover video footage of shocking animal abuse at a United Egg Producers-certified egg farm will be released during a news conference this morning by Mercy For Animals. The video shows thousands of birds packed so tightly into filthy wire battery cages the birds are hardly able to move without crawling over other birds. Severely sick and injured birds are left to slowly suffer and 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. Mercy For Animals is calling on United Egg Producers (UEP), a Georgia-based industry trade group representing the vast majority of U.S. egg farmers, to help end the use of cruel cages by making its cage-free standard its only certification standard.
Mercy For Animals' director of investigations, Matt Rice, will host a tele-press conference at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time at 877-256-7753.
The video shot at Shady Brae Farms in Marietta, Pennsylvania—an egg supplier to UEP-certified Sauder's Eggs—reveals widespread animal abuse and suffering, including the following:
- Thousands of hens crammed inside cages so small the birds can't freely walk, spread their wings, or lie down 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 the use of battery cages—barren wire cages so small each bird has less floor space than the area of a sheet of notebook paper to live out nearly her entire life. Battery cages are so inhumane that the entire European Union and the states of California and Michigan have banned their use. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are considering similar bans.
Additionally, leading food retailers, such as Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Costco, and Target, and nearly 100 other retailers, restaurants, foodservice companies, and food manufacturers have pledged to go cage-free in the past year. Even McDonald's, Burger King, and Subway have demanded their egg suppliers stop cramming hens into tiny cages.
"From the day they hatch until the day they are violently killed, egg-laying hens suffer lives filled with misery and deprivation," said Mercy For Animals' president, Nathan Runkle. "The use of battery cages is perhaps the cruelest form of institutionalized animal abuse and something no socially responsible company should support. It's time for United Egg Producers to take a stand against caged cruelty and implement a cage-free mandate for all its certified egg producers."
The undercover video will be made available at EggAbuse.com.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals