|June 2001 - July 2002 Victoria, NSW and ACT, Australia
PACE Farm Investigation: Corowa, NSW July 16, 2002
The Pace Farm battery hen complex in Corowa is managed by Joe Svarc and consists of two enormous metal sheds with approximately 50,000 birds caged in each shed. The cages are four tiers high, and restricted by the Government’s Code of Practice to four hens per cage. The rescue team first inspected this property in 1993 and witnessed consistent overcrowding. On our return visit on this year we again saw gross over-crowding and all the cages we viewed held five or six hens.
The cages measure 43 cm in height at the front and 37 cm at the back, meaning none of the hens can ever stand at their full height. (An Isa hen standing at full height is 45 cm). The shed we accessed had recently been cleared and was restocked with young and fully feathered pullets. There was a rubbish bin full of dead hens sitting on the floor near the cages.
The overcrowding meant more eggs being laid and we filmed the piles of broken eggs that were falling off the conveyor belt at one end of the shed. Many of the hens we saw in the short time we were in the shed were badly debeaked and packed tightly into the tiny cages. Big open gaps at the end of each row were left uncovered, meaning any hens getting out of the cage could fall into the manure pit below. Workers in this shed and other Pace sheds have told us that birds who fell into the manure pit were sometimes used for target practice by other workers.
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rubbish bin full of dead bodies
the rescue team at work documenting cruel conditions
severely deformed beak
cruelty investigator cradles hen with deformed beak
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unsanitary conditions below the egg conveyor belt