Undercover Investigation Cracks Egg Industry
November 20, 2002 Washington DC, USA

From August through November 2002, Animal Advocacy group Compassion Over Killing investigated Red Bird Egg Farms (RBEF) in Millington, Md., and found unimaginably cruel conditions for the hundreds of thousands of hens at the factory farm. The investigation team rescued ten sick and injured hens in dire need of immediate veterinary care, removing them from the factory farm and placing them in safe, loving homes.

COK Investigators documented in videos and photographs numerous acts of animal cruelty, including:

  • Hens immobilized in the wires of their cages without access to food or water.
  • Hens living in overcrowded cages with the decomposing corpses of deceased hens.
  • Diseased, sick, and injured hens suffering without veterinary care.

These conditions are not isolated, they are the norm in the egg industry. Similar investigations in Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland and Australia have uncovered the same widespread animal abuse.

The COK investigation received front page New York Times coverage which reported that "Members of the group [Compassion Over Killing] court arrest by entering chicken sheds at night and filming the rows of hens crammed 10 to a cage the size of a file-drawer cabinet. They get close-ups of swollen eyes, infected skin and shattered wings entangled in cage wire."

Says COK president Miyun Park, "If the abuse egg-laying hens endure was forced upon dogs or cats, it would be illegal. It's time we take a stand against such cruelty and stop buying eggs."

More information, videos and photos are available at the Compassion Over Killing website.

Click on any photo for larger version

egg factory farms confine an average of eight hens in wire battery cages the size of filing drawers, stacked one on top of another and down rows typically the length of one to two football fields

these two dead hens were found in the manure pit, their bodies gutted open, likely by rats

the cyst covering half of this hen’s face, including her left eye, is so heavy, she cannot lift herself without support

this hen's wing is trapped on the wires of her cage, preventing her from drinking or eating

hens in battery cages rub against each other and the wires of their cages, causing significant feather-loss. this rescued hen, shown here just two hours after her rescue, will re-grow all of her feathers once allowed to lead a more natural life

a COK investigator gives a rescued hen some water before leaving the factory farm

weary from life in a battery cage, these two factory farm survivors walk together in their new home.

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